Emil Alzamora’s Sculptures Stuck in Time

"Shift" by Emil Alzamora, 2008

“Shift” by Emil Alzamora, 2008


A torso emerges from the grass, made of rough white rock with his swaying left to right – a motion indicated by a dizzying technique in sculpture magic that records all the little individual moments while the head moves through space and creates a fluid connection between two heads that looks like a sleeker artistic version of The Matrix. The tumblr Like a Field Mouse titled the piece, “Not shaking the grass” which I thought was cute. But the sculpture is actually called “Shift,” created by Peruvian artist Emil Alzamora, whose portfolio contains surreal sculptures of the human form like this one that twist and elongate bodies in ways that question nearly everything, from consumer culture to the time space continuum.


“Ultima Thule” by Emil Alzamora, ceramic, 2007


My favorite were these stuck-in-time sculptures, which included “Ultima Thule” too – a man standing in two places, connected to his former self by the same kind of blur of motion that’s repeated here but creates a more basic, symmetrical representation of the same idea. The sculptures in this world experience every moment individually and forever, multiple consciousnesses frozen between two places – eternal but limited.

The slenderness of their bodies almost makes them seem like aliens, like a Modern sculptural version of the Mannerist style that painters raved about after the High Renaissance, where women had long fingers and necks that reached just a little too high. The baby Jesus in Parmigianino’s “Madonna with Long Neck” looks like he was stretched like taffy, his long body way too giant for a baby.

But in Alzamora’s sculptures, this elongation is refined and tailored, the ceramic pieces often shiny with glaze. Some bodies remain muscular but most are thin with a remoteness that brings an element of robot to the alien/human mix. Be careful to keep these aesthetics away from the robotics industry cause it would be a poetic, beautiful death if they took over the world.


See more of Alzamora’s work on his website here.