Melissa Faithful for Art-Sheep
Images by Cristiano Corte © British Council
“I Scream Daddio” is the title of the exhibition of the British Pavilion, in the 2015 Venice Biennale. It features Sarah Lucas’ works and it is curated by Richard Riley. The show focuses on the themes of gender, death, sexuality, motifs that have inspired and defined the artists for years, and that here become artistically intense in a very mature and much more raw way.
The life-sized sculptures are created with a delightful sense of humor and charged with a sexual notion that makes the audience giggle, yet unable to take their eyes off them. As Lucas states, “humor is about negotiating the contradictions thrown up by convention. To a certain extent humour and seriousness are interchangeable. Otherwise it wouldn’t be funny. Or devastating.”
The showpiece of the pavilion is a gigantic yellow figure that is sculpted from a bulbous texture of stuffed nylon prototype. Its enormous arched torso and phallic posture captivate the viewer, while its appearance combined with its name, are in agreement with the humorous essence of the rest of Lucas’ works. “Maradonna”, as the piece is titled, depicts the famous footballer’s “hand of god”, or we should say, penis, as the tall height of the phallic shape is obviously a gravity-defying erection, and not a hand with an ability to stretch.
The other works seem to play with the space and its functions, as female plaster-sculptured figures are found laying on top of chairs and office desks. And even though they are half-bodied, these pieces are completely functional, as they look like they are about to be sexually active, while interacting with the domestic furniture.