The articulation of matter and form seems to be at the core of some of the most striking works of Quayola, in particular the ongoing series of digital and physical sculptures “Captives” and the time-based digital sculpture “Matter”, completed by Quayola in 2012. Using as starting points Michelangelo’s unfinished series “Prigioni” and Rodin’s sculpture “Le Penseur” respectively, form and matter are explored in these two works of Quayola through the articulation of –geometrically reconstructed- raw matter and human form.
In “Captives”, Michelangelo’s articulation of matter and form is recreated and iterated potentially endlessly through the use of computer run mathematical functions and processes. The use of contemporary computation power, thus not only allows the reproduction of “Prigioni” but at the same time alters the work, by enabling the materialization of multiple variations of the boundary between matter and form.
In “Matter”, the variation of the boundary between raw matter and human form is displayed as a process in time. The incorporation of ‘time’ to Quayola’s sculpture transforms this boundary into a dynamic field that fluctuates between revealing the codified –human form- and retaining or becoming uncodified –matter.
The unidirectional process of ‘revealing’ form by subtracting matter implicit in Michelangelo’s and Rodin’s methods of sculpting is enriched in Quayola’s works by being simultaneously paused and reversed. Form and matter become aspects of the same entity, where human form has the potential to ‘return’ to a state of matter.
Quayola’s virtuoso recreation of the tension between matter and form adds a contemporary expression to the human qualities of strength, sensuality and introversion so exceptionally conveyed in Michelangelo’s and Rodin’s sculptures. The nature of this contemporary expression seems to lie within the power of its medium: computation. While as works of art Quayola’s pieces trigger the imagination of realities that may appear to be hypothetical, the state-of-the-art computation increasingly renders them as possibilities.