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Evocative Sculptures Cast from Geological Materials Explore Ideas of Fictional Archeology

danielarsham1GEP_Arsham5New York-based artist Daniel Arsham explores geological materials and the role of storytelling in archeology through his ongoing series Fictional Archeology. Using a variety of mediums including selenite, chalk, sand, pyrite, and volcanic ash, Arsham casts half-disintegrating sculptures that look as if they could be found by archeologists during an excavation in the distant future.

According to the artist's gallery representation, Galerie Perotin, Arsham's newest work was inspired by classical sculptures, as well as images and plaster casts of the Pompeiian victims who were solidified in ash after the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Fragmented and dislocated, the modern figures and objects play with ideas of authenticity and fiction. “Archeologists need to invent–at least in part–a story to reconstruct a plausible truth for their discoveries,” the gallery's press release reads. “Yet who knows for certain what really happened?”

Recent works from Fictional Archeology are currently on display at Galerie Perrotin in Hong Kong through October 10, 2015.

Above: Selenite Cracked Face, 2015. Selenite, volcanic ash, hydrostone.
Photo: Guillaume Ziccarelli / Courtesy Galerie Perrotin

The Dying Goul Revisited, 2015. Selenite, hydrostone.
Photo: Guillaume Ziccarelli / Courtesy Galerie Perrotin

Selenite Holding Hands, 2015. Selenite, hydrostone.
Photo: Guillaume Ziccarelli / Courtesy Galerie Perrotin

Pyrite Hands in Prayer, 2015. Pyrite, obsidian, hydrostone.
Photo: Guillaume Ziccarelli / Courtesy Galerie Perrotin

Steel Eroded Arm with Basketball, 2015. Steel, ground obsidian, hydrostone.
Photo: Guillaume Ziccarelli / Courtesy Galerie Perrotin

Pyrite Eroded Cat Clock, 2015. Pyrite, obsidian, hydrostone.
Photo: Guillaume Ziccarelli / Courtesy Galerie Perrotin

Selenite Eroded Television, 2015. Selenite, volcanic ash, hydrostone.
Photo: Guillaume Ziccarelli / Courtesy Galerie Perrotin

The Future Was Written, 2015. Chalk objects, marble pedestal, blackboard paint.
Photo: Guillaume Ziccarelli / Courtesy Galerie Perrotin

View of the exhibition Fictional Archeology at Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong, 2015.
Photo: Joyce Yung / Courtesy Galerie Perrotin

View of the exhibition Fictional Archeology at Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong, 2015.
Photo: Joyce Yung / Courtesy Galerie Perrotin.

View of the exhibition Fictional Archeology at Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong, 2015.
Photo: Joyce Yung / Courtesy Galerie Perrotin.

Daniel Arsham: Website | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Daniel Arsham / Galerie Perrotin.

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