Would you dare to use human bones as the basis for your next artwork? That’s what Lilia Ziamou has done. Her digital scans of human bones give rise to eerie, bone-like sculptures that can look like female figures. In her upcoming talk, she’ll reveal why she chose this medium and what her sculpture means.
Katie Yook | Ed Cristina Brooks | 2 December 2020
Lilia Ziamou, The Bone as Body (2019) Aqua-resin, oil paint. © Courtesy of the artist.
Growing up surrounded by classical ruins in Greece instilled multimedia artist Ziamou with an interest in fragmentation. Lilia’s practice is informed by her research into technology and design and the potential of technologies to create new digital identities. For her talk Digital Bodies as Narratives, Lilia will discuss digital representations of the self.
The artist describes her work as “combining classical and digital techniques.” In the recent series, The Bone as…, the artist uses 3D scanning to digitally capture human bones, art historical works, her body, anatomical models and mannequins, using them as source material to create new sculptural forms. Working with bones, she uses various digital technologies to scan, distort and photograph, each time distorting layers of the bones’ original materiality. She then executes the sculpture in different materials, from marbles to fabric. The resulting composite portraits possess both a sense of accuracy and fantasy filled with various evocations of the human form: curves, folds and flesh.
Lilia Ziamou, The Bone as Dress (2019) Dress-form, treated fabrics, thread. © Courtesy of the artist.
Ziamou often uses scale to enlarge the bones reproduced in her sculptures. Using scientifically-accurate anatomical figures, she studies particular bones within the body in detail, the hip bone for example in The Bone as Dress (2019) in order to blow it up to the size of a flowing dress. As you step back, the sculpture gives the impression of a pelvis. Your mind has a tendency to see fragments as a whole, smoothing over gaps to process new information and making associations between arbitrary signs.
Lilia Ziamou, The Bone as Fashion Sketch #1 (2019) Digital drawing. Unique archival pigment print. © Courtesy of the artist.
Ziamou states “my body of work points to the mind’s tendency to perceive the female body based on existing classification systems and preconceptions.” She is aware that the signs in her work are ideologically charged, not neutral or arbitrary regardless of how mediated or fragmented they are. The associations perceived within her work is shaped by a set of cultural conventions, based on how we have perceived the female form in art, media and advertising. Through her process of creating new meanings and identities in her work, she hopes to liberate the body from conventional forms and meanings.
Watch this talk
About the artist
© Courtesy of the artist.
Ziamou holds a BS from Aristotle University in Greece, an MPS from Tisch/NYU and a PhD from the University of Rhode Island. She is a professor at the City University of New York. A native of Greece, she now lives and works in New York.
Lilia Ziamou’s recent work was presented in a one-person exhibition, Body Politic, at NYU Kimmel Galleries in 2019. She was also the artist in residence at the Museum of Arts and Design in 2014. Additional solo exhibitions include Elga Wimmer (NY), Tenri Gallery (NY), the John Jay College Gallery (NY), the Consulate General of Greece in New York, and Gallery 7 (Athens Greece).
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