I don’t know that the work “celebrating” is appropriate It seems that the art typified by the dismemberment or subversion of the human form is not a celebration but an accusation.
Included in this parade are the grotesque, the carnivalesque, abjection and “informe” – formless. As my computer is the epitome of order and control it rejects two of these words as indigestible …. This is the central notion of this category of artists. Each has found the semblance of order in society indigestible for their own reasons (psychological trauma, rejection of prevailing ideologies or a desire to reconcile nature and culture to search for the “truth of being human” as opposed to a socially constructed reality) so they serve it back to us as it presents itself to them.
Like Halloween this art subverts order – conventions, categories, rules and exposes the hidden aspects of ordering mechanisms in our society and in our physical reality – irrationality, corruption, persecution, cruelty, alienation, repression, hubris, decay. It questions mutual exclusivity of binary oppositions by breaching the social and psychological barriers we create between them.
Magdalena Abakanowicz grew up in Poland and lived under Nazi then communist rule. From an aristocratic family on a country estate she was required to move to an impoverished urban environment and hide her identity.
Her art stems from physiological trauma rather than political subversion. She seeks to engage with the human condition both in terms of physicality and society. She is particularly working through her fear of the mob – The “faceless herd of the collective”.
Her work engenders a sense of fear and empathy. We feel empathy for the headless, faceless, ragged humanity while fearing their anonymity and sheer numbers.