Mara Goldfine

Mara_Goldfine-Touch_without_Touch

Touch without Touch (4″ x 1/2″ x 20″), steel, silicone, $1100

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Mouth Bound (3″ x 4″ x 22″), bronze, leather, $900

Like most foundry rats, I am obsessed with complex fabrication, casting, and sculpting with metal and silicone. Creating tools to increase versatility, I imagine what the body would look like with unlimited flexibility, many limbs, unfolding into new and useful shapes, like a good Swiss-army knife. My wearable sculptures explore limitations that thwart their apparent benefits. Silk linings, wit in the rigid metal sculpture, offer a small concession to comfort. The sculptures visibly demonstrate their own wearability and the function they are designed to accomplish, but are so strange and heavy that they serve no purpose.

I am interested in drawing the line between sensuality and sexuality. The human body, especially the female body and its sexuality, is often employed for purposes other than what it is, in other words, to advertise, or to delineate the power of fertility in opposition with the powerlessness of womanhood. However, little attention is paid to the sheer sensuous power of the ungendered physical body. The power of touch, the pleasure of muscles moving strongly and gracefully under the skin can certainly be a part of sexuality, but is also enjoyed in other moments. Moments of athleticism, the creation of movement, the act of creation of an object, the act of completion of a difficult skill, can be just as pleasurable in the body, completely sensual and completely asexual. Identifying pleasure without sexual contact brings the idea of virginity into question. One who can identify pleasure without the need for another is complete, and sexual contact becomes more of a choice, an invitation for exploration, rather than a transaction, a way to acquire something that one cannot create for one’s self.