Ruxandra-Iulia Stoica / Graciela Ainsworth
Ruminating on Reflections
The piece is an invitation to reflect on the ambiguous condition
of plaster casts in a school of art: at the same time copies for daily
use and historical artefacts.
Although the two groups form a pair, their state of conservation could
not be further apart as they had very different lives. One acquired a position of pride in the old library of the college, being well maintained, repaired
and given a bronze-like surface patina. The other was found all broken
and with many parts missing, left behind during a studio relocation and consequently close to being lost forever.
Non-invasive analytical investigations by digital X-ray showed that, rather unusually, the casts are not hollow and their internal structure of wood, metal and bone, includes wire and nails. They, corroborated with surface stratigraphy, also revealed the many repairs and layers of paint their
use in a school of art afforded.
The lower group is only half-cleaned, as their condition is a permanently transitory one. The surface tests on its base, although barely visible to the naked eye, suggest the further possible futures of their condition.
The casts reflect each other in a literal take on this idea as the two, non-identical groups of putti, from which they were made, mirror each other's position as they flank one of the door pediments in Sala dei Gigli,
Palazzo Vecchio (Florence).
The current intervention, questioning and reflecting on plaster casts in
art and architecture, is quite possibly a state they least expected to
be found in!