Mouth-to-mouth

This carved sculpture embodying the negative space inside a human mouth is produced entirely from real and artificial wine corks and displayed on a welded steel steel base.

The form is modeled after a negative imprint from the interior of the artist’s mouth and blown up over 10x the width of an actual, human mouth. It’s scale resembles that of a life-size human portrait-bust. Formally, it recalls the sculpture, Umbilical, by artist Janine Antoni, Mouth-to-mouth (2014) which shows the empty cavity inside a human mouth. However, instead of being made via direct moulding from a living form, the work is carved from natural and synthetic corks glued together with vinyl-based polymers and then meticulously carved with wood chisels. The corks used were collected by the artist over her first five years living in France.

Standing on its side, the metaphorical sculpture is at once abstract and realist. It represents an immense plug which fully fills a mouth, preventing it from eating and speaking. The sculpture invites us to imagine a windpipe all bottled up, unable to breathe and express itself. Without its own (empty) space, the mouth is unable to function, and the rest of the body with it.

Comme l’œuvre Umbilical de l’artiste Janine Antoni, Bouche-à-bouche (2014) montre l’espace vide à l’intérieur d’une bouche humaine. Cependant, au lieu d’être réalisée à partir d’un moulage direct, l’œuvre est exposée sur une plaque en acier et sculptée à partir de bouchons en liège naturels et synthétiques récupérés pendant 5 ans, collés entre eux et ensuite sculptés avec des ciseaux à bois. La sculpture même devient un gros bouchon qui remplit la bouche et l’empêche de parler et de manger ; sans son propre espace vide, la bouche ne fonctionne pas.