Tom Otterness

Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno (IVAM)

Tom Otterness’ work investigates the nature of public monuments, their social and psychological implications, and their artistic value. A founding member of Collaborative Projects Inc., Otterness considers his small figurines as carriers of a mock monumentality. The Tables, an installation begun in 1986, invites the viewer to enter a new frame of reference—of cultural memory, parody, and allegory. From a child’s perspective, the audience sinks into an unreal world where distortions in scale, role, and relationship among characters help to reveal the almost surreal scene taking place in the work. With a certain cinematic quality, which can be traced back to Otterness’ earlier films, the action of these works describes a complex scenario of human behavior. On top of three oversized, CorTen steel tables, a frozen vignette of creatures performing a sophisticated game can be read as a metaphor

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