「Uncanny puppet to power」
25cm x 35cm x 31cm
Candleholder · by Michael Kvium
Handmade in Portugal by Raawii
In the third & final design piece created by Kvium for his partnership with Raawii, the ambiguous physiognomy, formless flesh, & anthropomorphic abjection fall away. In their wake, a small, diminutive—if also seemingly dejected—young child sits on a tabletop, a candle jutting violently from his bowed head.
Produced in pure white plaster, with the exception of a single black t-shirt tag emerging askew from the nape of his neck, the uncanny presence belies the portrait what the artist terms a juvenile “puppet”; like many of Kvium’s youthful figures, deprived of agency, this “puppet” is prey to the power & desire of others, especially the prerogatives & politics of a corrupt adult world.
This center piece candleholder, a performative, absurd object playing its part in the theatricality of quotidian drama, reflects the dialectical tendencies of much of Kvium’s oeuvre: shifting between the poles of confrontation & reflection.
Evoking an affective response from the onlooker, the composition recalls both previous sculptural works by the artist, such as The Culture Ride (2012), a bronze piece presenting a child with a paint palette on the back of a donkey with covered eyes, representing, to the artist, “a portrait of culture, riding blindly on its way”, as well as previous paintings such as Simple Portrait IV (2011), featuring a nude male figure (also of Kvium’s countenance) with an illuminated candle dripping from the top of his head, humorously signifying the absurd proximity of enlightenment & madness.
“I want, without wishing it, to see the abyss, to see in the dark”