Zora Mann, Eartheater, 2022; Ceramic, wood, paint and steel; Body: 195 × 51 × 21 cm
The wood and ceramic sculptures presented in Zora Mann’s exhibition Nectar Hive are built from various elements found in the human body, plant life, nature and architecture. Suspended in air, their strung parts represent the physical and cerebral manifestations of emotions, together forming the complex synthesis of traits that constitute personalities.
Viewed individually, each work presents the intricacies of humanity and personhood. The anthropomorphic heads and bodies, reminiscent of mitochondria and other cellular components, can be read as the various factors that influence emotions and habitual behaviors. Often bearing titles that represent archetypes, such as Penny Pincher, Baroness, and Paper Pusher, or the names of a personal acquaintance or an imagined self such as Ulrich and Clara, these sculptures embody recognizable tendencies, characters and auras that can be found all around us.
Eartheater (2022) takes its name from the notion of cosmophagy, what Susan Sontag once described as “the philosophical rite…of the eating of the world.” Correspondingly, the work evokes the cyclical process of self-composting found in all of nature: the sculpture’s rounded body contains four cavities shaped like stomachs, two of which appear to have budding seedlings growing inside of them. A tail of stacked beads, which can be interpreted as either cells or seeds, trails onto the floor– as if giving rise to the head of the sculpture, colorful and in full bloom.