Random House, Palazzo Marcello, Venice Biennale 2017
RANDOM HOUSE | Venice Biennale, PALAZZO MARCELLO, SAN MARCO, 30124, VENEZIA 13 May 2017 — 25 Aug 2017
Ancient mythology explained and rationalised life; it established models for behavior, recorded or exaggerated historical events and depicted the divine using language. Interconnectivity of society today, allows stories, urban legends and information to be shared instantly through social media — forming a new platform for modern mythology. Jam Sutton’s new work explores mythology, the avatar and the distortion of identity through technological advancement. Utilising 3D scanning, Jam digitises the human form and creates virtual ‘avatar’ sculptures which reference mythological transformations of identity. These transformations reflect the psychology of our digital identities on social platforms. The mythological transformation of identity can be linked to online fictional persona and the ‘technoself’.
The ability of creating and altering our identities in a virtual world allows us to craft and adapt the ‘super-self’ in ways impossible with real-life identity — projecting an ideal persona. Technological advancement and the rise of online social platforms have blurred the definition of identity; anonymity allows freedom of expression and a chance to amplify aspects of the ideal self.
Throughout ancient Greek mythology, transformation and metamorphosis featured heavily, especially in the stories of Zeus and his various love affairs. Zeus used transformation to manipulate, deceive and lure for the purpose of intimacy — especially in the seduction of Leda where Zeus transformed his identity into a swan. The swan symbolically features in the artwork as a depiction of this transformation, but also as a metaphor for grace and beauty, or the ‘ideal’ self. The model Jhonattan Burjack portrays a modern-day representation of society’s physical ideal.
The digital sculptures reference relics of antiquity through glitches and cracks created by data misalignment during the 3D scanning process. The resulting work is a neo-classical depiction and exploration of human existence and identity in a technological society.
Lenticular lightbox installation