BLIND LOVE THE SCUPTURE
BY RODNEY CHANG, 1984
OBJECTIVE FOR THE PIECE
To attempt to create a sculptural form to be appreciated totally without sight but only through tactile sensation; to create a sculptural form for the blind.
The piece, Blind Love, shall be "invisible." It shall be shrouded by darkness with the construction of a booth with a rope system to serve as guidance to the piece and back out of the room. - without sight. Darkness is the aesthetic situation to permit those with vision to experience sculptural form in the manner that the blind do.
SPECIFICS OF THE PIECE
The form will be that of a female nude as imagined without vision- the artist was blindfolded during the sculpting/handling of the clay. Such a completed clay form then is used to create a mold from which a wax replication is melted and casted into bronze. The form, with its feminine form and gestural style of the artist, may suggest eroticism to feelers so inclined. However the sensationalization of nudity is not the intent but the goal is to create a new human sculptural figure that glorifies the female form (as the ancient Greeks did) and that is unlike any other previous sculptural rendition of the female human form.
The actual sculptural form has proportions and anatomical special arrangements slanted to maximize tactile appreciation rather than to appease realistic naturalistic proportions. Chang's love for the abstract induced the structural foundation core of the piece, that being the basic building blocks of form, such as the cube. The decision was made to accentuate the flowing connection of the major parts of the female torso. The accomplishment of this intent was helped through the elimination of the details such as the navel and nipples. The form was further removed from specific portraiture or characterization by the absence of head, face, limbs, and hands. More of a general and universal sense of the body was sought as anatomical imagination guided the scuptor's hands and mind. Sexuality is downplayed through the exclusion of details and the blunt discontinuity of line and form at the base around the genital and anal areas.
Hopefully this is a special event for the handicap. Scupture was created for them with effort to create only using those modalities of sense available to the blind. Since the form is never seen even by those with sight intact during the course of the exhibition (its form is never revealed in light), the piece becomes significant in artistic terms by suggesting that art for the blind may take a different form from art that is made to be looked at (and usually not touched). Hopefully the work becomes a public acknowledgement that the blind may have different (if not superio) tactile aesthetic perceptors. Hopefully the work gives gifted blind artists confidence and inspiration to pursue sculpture despite their "handicap."