In The Land of Sugar and Grain

Þanon untydras ealle on wocon
July 9, 2009, 4:11 am
Filed under: Uncategorized


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Þanon untydras ealle on wocon, Plaster, steel armature, found materials and electrical components. Alexander

Bandazian: 2008. On display at Wheaton College, Mars Fine Arts Building.


The title of this piece is taken from the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf and translates to “From thence arose all misbegotten things.” The line describes the lineage of monsters tracing back to the cursed Cain of biblical mythology. I wanted to evoke this kind of ‘original horror;’ the idea that all of the things that we fear have some kind of common ancestry. There is something deeply frightening about the elongated form, the gnarled, mottled texture, the vacant stair, the hunched posture. There are also religious undertones, both in form and content (as seen in the detail featuring the saint figurine). I drew from my experience visiting royal reliquaries in central Europe which housed some of the most beautiful, bizarre and frightening objects I have ever seen: ornately presented severed hands, mummified babies in gilt coffins and so forth.

In order to give the piece a living quality I included small windows into the interior space, which has been colored a vibrant red to give the impression of something animate, organic and dormant. The image of a haunted painting with moving eyes, or a statue that shifts positions when you’re not looking comes to mind, which is enhanced by an integrated strobe light that sheds faintly flickering lights on the insides.


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