Sculpting Voice (2010)

Sculpting Voice is a series of colour portraits which employ photography to explore Mikhail Karikis’s concerns with the material and plastic properties of breath and the voice, as well as his investigation of the physical extremes of vocal production. Photographed in high definition detail to capture the variations of pigmentation of the skin, and using stark lighting to highlight the muscular anatomy of the face (referencing Messerschmidt’s mannerist busts), the images depict various moments of vocalisation. They range from subtle facial motions to disfiguring gestures that reveal the plasticity and transforming ability of the face, the technicality and effort that shaping the voice into various sounds demands, as well as its fragility and invisible force. Sculpting Voice resonates some of the central themes in Karikis’s practice: non-verbal communication, an expanded materialist approach to sound and the voice, vocality in relation to the body and gender, and poetics of expression.