For his new exhibition Immortality Project I at Sullivan+Strumpf Singapore, sculptor Sam Jinks develops his interrogation of the human condition through Ernest Becker’s seminal text The Denial of Death. Becker’s concept of “the immortality project” is one in which the individual focuses on the symbolic self, generating a personal belief system that seeks to be part of something that won’t die with the physical body – something eternal. This sets up the basic duality of humanness that exists between the physical world and the symbolic world of meaning. Jinks’ own personal immortality project depicts his wife Emma as Medusa with a tangle of snakes in her hair, oversized and commanding. Here Jinks invites the viewer to look directly into the face of a human connection that transcends the physical, but is excruciatingly mortal in its essence – an exercise in facing duality.
Contrasting Medusa’s unflinching stare is a figure reminiscent of the Good Shepherd. The male figure’s eyes are closed; the carcass of a calf is slung across his shoulders. He is internally enrapt in gentle dialogue with the natural world. This use of familiar imagery directly locates the work within an art historical trajectory of representations of human experience through figurative sculpture. Jinks takes on the challenge of this history to create something new within a rich oeuvre. The contrasting encounters with these iconographic figures establish complex internal dualities of the physical and symbolic, of
reason and sentience.
Jinks highlights the limitations of the human experience as one that takes place within a vulnerable, aging body – a body capable of empathy, a body with responsibility and a body that is not eternal. The work of Sam Jinks reminds us that the texture of the body is harnessed to the texture of the psyche.
Venue: Sullivan+Strumpf Singapore, 5 Lock Road #01-06 Gillman Barracks, Singapore 108933
When: 10 Jan - 12 Feb 2017,