Water Castings: Fourteen Pieces

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Artist: Matthew Barney, 2014

Material: Bronze

Process: Clay silt casting?

Barney created these sculptures using a process he developed in which molten bronze is poured into a pit of bentonite clay silt. When the bronze comes into contact with the moisture in the clay silt, the metal evaporates the water and finds its way into the spaces between the pieces of clay, hardening and resulting in abstract forms. The pieces apparently relate to a six hour film the artist created, but I can’t confirm that fact because there was no way I was going to spend six hours watching a silent art film.

I stumbled across this installation as I was looking into water casting and found it interesting even though the name ended up being misleading. The final products reminded me of the pieces that have been created by pouring metal into ant hills and hornets nests.

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