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Born: 1968, Volkel, The Netherlands
Lives and Works: Arnhem, NL, and Ronse, Belgium
Since 1986, Mark Manders has been engaged in an ongoing project he refers to as "Self-Portrait as a Building," mapping his artistic persona through site-specific renegotiations of physical materials in space. Taking the shape of sculptures, installations, and drawings, these subtle rearrangements of existing and invented forms fuse specific and seemingly incongruous elements--figures, animals, archaeological fragments, everyday objects, and architectural components--into a new visual language. Room with Clothes, Belt and Contact Lenses (1992-2008) is the title of a sculptural installation consisting of multiple works. In the largest work, Continuous Livingroom Scene (2007-2008), two figures appear split down the middle and arranged with wooden beams and plates, while a third, abstracted figurative "fragment" is discernible only by its mop of hair. Chair (2003) is a "found" object as its title suggests, while Assignment (2008) is an odd accumulation of the artist's clothes, shoes, contact lenses, and money. Also on view Fox/Mouse/Belt (1992) is a poignant floor sculpture of two incongruous beings arrested mid-leap. Bound together by a leather belt and placed on the floor, the animals are frozen in an indeterminable moment in time. Within each object and from one installation to the next, Manders expresses the potential for symbiotic relationships between disconnected or opposing parts.
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