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Breaking ResemblanceThe Role of Religious Motifs in Contemporary Art$
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Alena Alexandrova

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780823274475

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823274475.001.0001

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Images That Do Not Rest

Images That Do Not Rest

The Installations of Lawrence Malstaf

(p.151) Chapter 6 Images That Do Not Rest
Breaking Resemblance
Alena Alexandrova
Fordham University Press

This chapter discusses three installations by Lawrence Malstaf, which rework religious motifs, or literally set them in motion to reinterpret the idea of the incarnation and the oppositions between body and soul, flesh and spirit, which are still implicitly present in contemporary notions of mediality. Madonnapresents an iconographic inversion of the motif of Annunciation, and situates itself in the broad network of cultural meanings associated with air and breath. The work has broader resonances with iconic images belonging to different periods. It can be seen as a survival from the past which, in the sense of Aby Warburg, displaces and inverts the meaning of the borrowed motif to transform it into a critical commentary. Next to that the co-presence of the technical and the iconic, the imprint and the iconic resonances in the installation Shrink, and the transformation of the motif of Jesus writing in the sand in Sandbible.

Keywords:   air, Annunciation, body, breath, counter-motif, emotion, installation art, mediality, religious iconography, symptom

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