Patricia Piccinini

The Student, 2012
Silicone, fibreglass, human hair, books
68 x 31.5 x 26 cm (with books)
from an edition of 6 + 2AP


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Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne
Acquired by the present owner from the above in 2012

"The sublime thrill experienced while viewing Piccinini’s sculptures - which are simultaneously terrifying and awe-inspiring, repulsive and alluring - cannot be denied. The uncanny hybrid forms seem strangely familiar; exhibiting traits of known animals, and yet are unlike anything ever seen. The human characteristics of her creatures are a disconcerting reminder of the comparable DNA content that all mammals contain within approximately the same number of genes: for example, 98 per cent of human and chimpanzee DNA base pairs are identical (it is interesting to note that two unrelated humans differ on average by 0.1 per cent of base pairs).

Piccinini’s world compels us to recognise that the small percentage of genetic difference that distinguishes our species is not static, with genes mutating in both ‘controlled’ and ‘uncontrolled’ environments. Are we, she questions, attached to our place in the world or willing to transcend the categorisation of human versus animal through our ability to manipulate evolution." (Jane Messenger, 'Patricia Piccinini: Once upon a time...', in Jane Messenger & Nick Mitzevich, Patricia Piccinini: Once upon a time..., Adelaide, 2011, p.10)

  • The Student
  • The Student
  • The Student

Image courtesy of the artist and Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne. Photograph by Geoff Boccalatte

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Still to come