I found today this writing I did back on 2017.
THE BIG MONSTER
By Areli Moran
The Flux and the Puddle, a masterpiece by the sculptor David Altmejd, was presented at Musée d ́art contemporain de Montréal, Canada in 2014-2015. It was placed at the centre of a large room with mirrors covering the walls. The flamboyant sculpture is a box, about 20 feet each side and 10 feet high, made out of Plexiglas.
You can walk inside the room and around the box to discover its magnificence. Your body cannot go inside the box, but your eyes and mind will get in through the transparency of the Plexiglas and reflection of the mirrors situated inside the box.
Disturbing, yet fascinating, is the transparent box full of objects like: animals, fruits, crystals, human hybrids, flowers and many more. Some of them are reals, as the coconuts, and others are not, as the glass eyes; the objects are made of different materials and colors that make them look so close to reality. All of them placed on different levels, some suspending in the air and others falling deep to the earth. Some of the objects are repeated and disintegrating through the space. This box is surreal.
There is a restless flow of energy, represented by threads and fruit fluids interconnecting the materials and objects, generating an effect of constant movement, a movement that suggests for me destruction and new mutation of humans and nature. It evokes for me a big monster.
Visiting this exposition was a remarkable experience. It makes me think about the complexity and beauty of the world, but the devastation and mutilation that we are provoking to it; and at the same time all the inner darkness of the human being.
My experience contemplating this art work was astonishment, as well as agitation. I found in it similar to the experience of walking in the forest, with its unpredictable surprises, even when you go around the piece more than once. The work seduced me and demanded my contemplation, welcoming me to continue navigating the infinite and perpetual multiplication of metaphors, witnessing the work ́s intelligence that Altmejd was looking to generate in his art.
In those metaphors I saw monstrosity, but not as the anthropomorphic figure of the monster that human relate with, however the reflection and the speculation combined with the skeptical, the gauzy, the ethereal and the fragile. A juxtaposition of images. The reinvention of humans versus the human auto-destruction, altogether in an abstract and endless circuit of life, like a dance or a battle between a dream and a nightmare.
Another interesting and dual aspect of the piece are the mirrors. Mirrors in a society generally refer to beauty. The mirrors in this work have a lot more to say. For example, in one side of the box there is a theatre curtain made of mirrors and in the centre there is a girl standing wearing a fancy blue sequin dress whom seems to be singing but does not have an open mouth, there is a hole in her face, as there are holes in the mirrors that makes you related and probably see violence, as if it was after war.
Another example, there is a scene where two characters, made of black clay, sit facing each other sculpturing with their own material, the reflection of the mirror seems to be their unconscious and makes me question if they are the representation of Altmejd ́s mind.
It is clear to me that the artist makes a replication of himself, body parts like hands and his mind like those black monsters, that seems to be an autobiographical work of the artist, to me is honest and intuitive work even if it is pretentious. At the same time it seems to be a scientific laboratory, which was actually Altmejd’s studio work space for this creation. I saw a sense of the reminiscence of energy from the process of the work and it provokes in me the desire to go inside the box, to touch, and to smell.
Altmejd ́s work is remarkable due to its power of its duality of beauty and ugliness within itself. The Flux and the Puddle has its own identity and personality that you can observe and sense; for me as an artist this is one of the most important points of creation, to transmit to the audience and to speak to them through the work.
Did I mention the little ants carrying slices of bananas? As a concept, I see Altmejd ́s piece as an opportunity to think about our own damage to the world and environment, to question and analyze the unconscious adaptation that humans are inflicting to their bodies by our change of activities/inactivity from using new technologies. Those body mutilations on the piece could represent it, both a mind mutilation and greater futility of our bodies
Humans are monsters in the world, creating a monster of devastation to the world.