The most recent incarnation of Mike Parr’s long-running Self Portrait Project embraces a new medium: glass sculpture. These works are the result of a tremendous, continuous performance of ‘blind negative modelling’, in which the artist’s physical sight is replaced by other senses.
Nineteen ‘heads’ have been scooped, kneaded and formed in clay hollowed out of dense blocks. The other senses—including memory as a kind of meta-sense—are substituted for that of seeing. In abstaining from seeing the positives produced during this demanding process, Parr cannot return to his ‘educated’ response as a visual artist.
The ‘blind dimension’ of this work carriesa powerful, far-reaching metaphorical resonance in relation to Parr’s Self Portrait Project, representing the moment when the work is cast into the nameless void of collectivity and history.