Sandy Skoglund

American, contemporary

Spirituality in the Flesh

1997 Photographic documentation of an installation

Sandy Skoglund’s work plays with contradictions and how tension builds drama. Photography is often viewed as a reflection of reality, and Skoglund questions this assumption by depicting   made-up fantastical installations as photographs.  Skoglund’s tableau includes a mannequin perched on a stool with a vibrant background composed entirely of raw meat. This bizarrely humorous juxtaposition evokes an association with decay that becomes evident the longer we look at it. However, Skoglund hasn’t shown us the grim end result, but instead “the hour before decomposition begins.” This artistic choice pays homage to the medium of photography in that it captures only one moment in a larger process.

Gift of Elizabeth Lea, 2005.53