International Sculpture Center
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Sculpture cover


January/February 2016
Vol. 36 No. 1

A publication of the
International Sculpture Center
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Diane Simpson: Fashioning
by Kay Whitney
Peplum IV,
2015 Clothes are the skin over the skin of the body. Although one is manufactured and the other biological, both are theorized constructions. Objectively speaking, the body is a succession of stacked parts that vary conceptually in terms of emotive emphasis: head, neck, torso, hips, genitals, legs, feet. The body dressed is a different class of object, a semiotic vehicle rather than an anatomical structure. This entity, which consists of collar, sleeves, pockets, waist, vents, fastenings, pleats, edging, stitching, and trimmings, is a collection of social values that function as something more than skin covering. For Karl Marx, dress figured as part of a materialist account of the world-in other words, clothes embodied the mystification of objects in modern culture. The body itself is a system of essential functions; it is irreducible. Clothes, on the other hand, are the expression of culture working through a system; they have a life independent of the body. Clothing can be understood as a form of thought as articulate as language, diagrams, poetry, or equations. Appearances camouflage meaning; like sculpture, clothes embody a formality of infinite variability and signification. ...see the entire article in the print version of January/February's Sculpture magazine.

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Peplum IV, 2015. Aluminum, galvanized steel, rivets, and enamel, 48 x 29 x 18 in.

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