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POLA SIEVERDING
 
On Boxing #1⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
2016⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Pigment print on paper⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
61 x 91,4 cm ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Framed with Museum Glass
64,2 x 95 cm⠀⠀⠀⠀
On Boxing #2⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
2016⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Pigment print on paper⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
61 x 91,4 cm ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Framed with Museum Glass
64,2 x 95 cm⠀⠀⠀⠀
On Boxing #3⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
2016⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Pigment print on paper⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
91,4 x 61 cm ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Framed with Museum Glass
95 x 64,2 cm⠀⠀⠀⠀
















BODIES THAT MATTER
"Throughout the centuries, from the Romans to the Renaissance, from neoclassicism to modernism, society has been moulding the Greek Aesthetic Ideal, into a cultural and intellectual utopia; an ideal to aspire to, creating visual templates that permeate public life and command the way the subject deals with its own image. The gleaming immortal marble has become the canon and the container of desires. Yet, these Greek works of Art, bearers of the highest form of beauty, reached the present day severed by Time - limbs were lost, torsos mutilated and the apparent immortality of the stone no longer contains its first intents. These myths, embodied in tropes of beauty such as Venus de Milo - The classical, immaculate body, containing concepts of proportions, harmony, Order, symmetry and the idea of wholeness - however, remain intact. Their perception is of a complete body, contrary to its visibly mutilated, fragmentary, disabled form. These bodies are no longer whole and complete, what we decipher is mere Imagination tainted with inner realities and desires fragmentation allows for a prosthetic metaphysical placement. Their completeness, their body, their matter. is merely formed and tinted by the spectator ́s projected souls.

The canons see themselves shifted from their original form of objective beauty to a subjective and appropriated form of beauty, creating and implying a meaning of body boundaries, that are ever shifting and elusive, reaching out to incorporate new fragments of the individual ́s subjective world. What the mind tries to ignore when projecting a self into these recipient forms of desire, Pola emphasizes it, exploring the correlation between desire, imagination, wholeness and incompleteness, revealing a futile belief in the wholeness of the body.
Pola Sieverding, Bodies that matter is a series of photographs depicting Ancient Greek Sculptures, printed on transparent polyester film, focusing on the severed and damaged part of the sculptures. Pola alludes us to the brokenness of these perpetually beautiful objects revealing a vanishment of the physical wholeness and the symmetry that these the Greek statues once possessed emphasising their brokeness, making the viewer aware of the fragmented beauty and highlighting the futility in the belief on the plenitude and totality of the physicality of an object.

Bodies that matter performs an essential role in the investigation of the faulted, damaged, severed as a reification of our status as historically, culturally and temporally located beings and asserts what we have forgotten or chosen to forget in detriment of ego's fantasies."
RITA ALMEIDA
Bodies that matter #1
2018
Pigment print on transparent polyester film
91,4 x 61 cm
100,8 x 69,8 cm, framed
Bodies that matter #2
2018
Pigment print on transparent polyester film
91,4 x 61 cm
100,8 x 69,8 cm, framed⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Bodies that matter #4
2018
Pigment print on transparent polyester film
91,4 x 61 cm
100,8 x 69,8 cm, framed
Bodies that matter #5
2018
Pigment print on transparent polyester film
91,4 x 61 cm
100,8 x 69,8 cm, framed
Bodies that matter #6
2018
Pigment print on transparent polyester film
91,4 x 61 cm
100,8 x 69,8 cm, framed
odies that matter #7
2018
Pigment print on transparent polyester film
91,4 x 61 cm
100,8 x 69,8 cm, framed
Bodies that matter #8
2018
Pigment print on transparent polyester film
91,4 x 61 cm
100,8 x 69,8 cm, framed
Bodies that matter #9
2018
Pigment print on transparent polyester film
91,4 x 61 cm
100,8 x 69,8 cm, framed















VALET
"The Valet series acts as a prelude for Pola Sieverding’s 2015 exhibition Arena - as the name suggests, Valet is an esotic examination to the creation of the large scale photographs of the wrestlers bodies that made Arena possible. The immediacy of the Polaroid camera allowed the artist to quickly scan the idea behind this group of works, an idea born one year prior to the final works. With Polaroid unique aesthetical characteristics and with the subjects at matter, we are immediately brought up to photojournalism of the Boxing and Wrestling Golden Era, where boxing figures would invade newspapers making multitudes roar in excitement in each match, a type of photography where the extremes and sensationalism are brought forward: the boxers that blemish against a strong and infinite black background, the victory, the defeat, the strength and the weakness; within each image a narrative of the Epic.

The carnality of the wrestlers, their body mass, hairs, sweat, scars, muscles presented to us through Pola Sierverding’s unique objectivity show us the drama of conquering and being conquered, feelings of immortality, theatricality, exhaustion and pain. These elements become the real event of the spectacle: the work focuses on the actors physicality. Not the fight itself, but rather its visuality that is made discernible, palpable. Flesh and form, the physical forces colliding and rippling through the bodies - the protagonists’ bodies create meaning beyond it - from the level of pure visibility and become tangible between levels of perception as something that is kinesthetically, imaginatively and affectively linked.

Something shows itself, something becomes visible between image and what is perceived: the constant questioning between the ‘real’ and fabricated, the authentic and the simulated. It reminds us that what we are looking at is not that which it at first appears to be. Everything seems to indicate a staged reality: the lighting, the actors, the black curtain. By creating a stage of her own making, Pola Sierverding emphasizes the façade. The theater collapses in front of our very own eyes - This acts as an alienation device, a sense of strangeness to the viewer when he is confronted with these paradoxal realities created by the artist: Sieverding blurs the lines between the documentary reality and the subtlety of an inner narrative by shifting the details of a realistic gaze into the quotidian life."
RITA ALMEIDA
Valet #02⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
2014⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Polaroid
10,2 x 8,8 cm
Valet #03⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
2014⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Polaroid
10,2 x 8,8 cm⠀⠀
Valet #07⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
2014⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Polaroid
10,2 x 8,8 cm
Valet #10⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
2014⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Polaroid
10,2 x 8,8 cm⠀
Valet #25⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
2014⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Polaroid
10,2 x 8,8 cm
⠀⠀⠀
Valet #31⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
2014⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Polaroid
10,2 x 8,8 cm⠀
Valet #52⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
2014⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Polaroid
10,2 x 8,8 cm














ARENA
"Here, with the boys of the arena, male sexuality is literally brought into sharp focus in the photographs that depict it, almost as if the decision for high-contrast chiaroscuro with few fuzzy edges was making that point clear. Here, men grapple with each other in ways that suggest their heterosexual aggression demands an animalistic display for the female of the species or that it might actually be as pure in its Homeric love between men as we were once led to believe by ardent classicists. Here, men fight each other in a way that can only be homosexual in its intention and in the audience it hopes to attract. Sieverding makes visible male sexualities about which only men are supposed speak. And, in the subtle, clever way that she does it, she simultaneously manifests a new female perspective.

We are no longer looking at the stories that men tell about their sexuality, strength or physical beauty to each other and to women. Instead, we see something that a woman might see. It could be as easily intelligible as the way in which a woman might see both the sexual allure of male beauty and the simultaneous boyish silliness of even adult men. We could also take it as an acute observation of male vanity. Men frequently deny the idea that they like to be the focus of the gaze; objects of desire. Yet, from their ancient inception, all of the sports that like to align themselves with classicism share a need for an audience. The narcissism of sports that even have a need for an arena in which the participants can be observed by other (inactive) people is so implicit that it offers the perfect vehicle for Sieverding’s recurring questions about whether an image is depicting something that is ‘real’ or staged; authentic or simulated."
KEN PRATT




With ARENA Pola Sieverding offers us images of male wrestlers. The black that dominates these larger works does many things. One is it pulls us towards theatre; both to see its presence and to simultaneously enter into it. It drags us undeniably towards an aesthetic of ideal male beauty that has been with us since the civilisations of ancient Greece and which has been regularly re-asserted in the art movements of the millennia since then. Sieverding’s consummate decisions about which images we see in juxtaposition create realities that we cannot escape. We cannot avoid seeing images of two male wrestlers in the Ancient Greek tradition of the pankration that has been passed down through the millennia by art history and western cultural sensibilities with its (homo)erotic connotations fully intact.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
ARENA #1
2014
Pigment print on paper,
168 x 112 cm
ARENA #2
2014
Pigment print on paper,
112 X 168 cm
ARENA #3
2014
Pigment print on paper,
112 X 168 cm
ARENA #4
2014
Pigment print on paper,
168 x 112 cm
ARENA #5
2014
Pigment print on paper,
112 X 168 cm
ARENA #6
2014
Pigment print on paper,
112 X 168 cm
ARENA #7
2014
Pigment print on paper,
168 x 112 cm
ARENA #8
2014
Pigment print on paper,
112 X 168 cm
ARENA #9
2014
Pigment print on paper,
112 X 168 cm
ARENA #10
2014
Pigment print on paper,
168 x 112 cm
ARENA #11
2014
Pigment print on paper,
168 x 112 cm
ARENA #12
2014
Pigment print on paper,
112 X 168 cm









TORSO
"The most powerful element of Pola Sieverding’s work comes from the potential of the body and it’s desires. By defining the body linguistically; as an alternative to words, she exploits the classical ideal of the body as locus of pleasure and power. Typically she is attracted to extremes and socialized emotions, something felt when the body switches between looking and being looked at, touching and being touched. Her images explore the body as an expressive element, the way we alter our behavior when we feel ourselves to be acting, performing of just being.

Pierre Bourdieu calls this bodily hexis where the body is a ‘site of incorporated history.’ It is a state of body and being, a repository of ingrained dispositions that seem natural (gestures, moves, postures.) Clinically it is tied directly to the body’s motor functions, in the form of a pattern that is individual and intuitive, a basic dimension of social orientation. For Sieverding this close to the body reading is fixed throughout her work, in images that materialize the insights that conventional language cannot. These include moments that are rooted and difficult to consciously alter, euphoria and rage, decline and liberation.

The TORSO works favours the language of the classical world, where the illustrated body had a responsibility to educate and inform. Customarily the body was fragmented and nude; and conditioned to ‘incorporate history’; note (bodily) hexis originates in Aristotle’s “Ethics“ (350BC). All of Sieverding’s images here, present their subjects as objects of lust. The compositions are graphic and unemotional. They are produced on pigment paper and come unframed, as to hang unblemished on the wall. TORSO I-III depict the portrait busts found in Greek and Roman antiquity, which are excavated from mineral fragments in holy lands. IV shows a floating shoulder suggestive of Adonis; the archetypal male and V revives the silken fluid hair of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. This series also engages more fetish aesthetics; VII shows an eroticized view of a naked back encrusted in body hair.“

NATASHA ISAACS
TORSO I
2014
Pigment print on paper,
220 x 112 cm
TORSO II
2014
Pigment print on paper,
220 x 112 cm
TORSO III
2014
Pigment print on paper,
220 x 112 cm
TORSO IV
2014
Pigment print on paper,
220 x 112 cm
TORSO V
2014
Pigment print on paper,
220 x 112 cm
TORSO VI
2014
Pigment print on paper,
220 x 112 cm
TORSO VII
2014
Pigment print on paper,
220 x 112 cm
TORSO VIII
2018
Pigment print on paper,
220 x 112 cm
Inkarnat #01
2019⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Polaroid
10,2 x 8,8 cm
Inkarnat #02
2019⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Polaroid
10,2 x 8,8 cm
Inkarnat #03
2019⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Polaroid
10,2 x 8,8 cm
Inkarnat #04
2019⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Polaroid
10,2 x 8,8 cm
Inkarnat #05
2019⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Polaroid
10,2 x 8,8 cm
Inkarnat #06
2019⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Polaroid
10,2 x 8,8 cm
Inkarnat #07
2019⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Polaroid
10,2 x 8,8 cm
Inkarnat #08
2019⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Polaroid
10,2 x 8,8 cm