Down Amongst The Dead Men

Warren Viscoe, Artist

This is one of the sculptures in our collection. It was made in Auckland, Auckland Region, New Zealand in 1994.
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Object Detail

About the Work
" In the last decade Viscoes love of transformation, inversion and relocation has been embodied in multi-part installations that are laden, lateral, and densely argued. The compression of narrative in the suggests poetry more readily than sculpture, and none achieve greater compression than 'Down among the Deadmen' and 'Coral Gardens/ Cultured Pearls'. Like 'The Pink and White Bathers', both these installations reclaim and resurrect a ubmerged history - namely, the violence of World War II and the recent nuclear test - but one need not know this to yield the strangeness of Viscoes transformations. Together, the form Viscoe's most beautiful and mysterious evocation of the Pacific seascape.
Nothing is only itslef in these installations. We face a forst of gouged wood forms which seem to have been bleached into Saline purity...
...In Down among the deadmem, Viscoe updates the romantic myth of a South Seas Garden of Eden for the war-toen twentieth century. Viscoe calls 'Deadmen' "A theatre of war, festooned, decorated, reclaimed." On the walls are emblems of the American forces who fought in the Pacifc during World War II - silk stockings, KIlroy peering over a wall- and all around are what look like the masts of sunken warships, encrusted with coral. Viscoe seems to be taking us down to the sea-bed, where the fragments of military history have been transformed into something rich and strange. Keep looking and these structures start to suggest bleached white coral, then pillars of salt, and then the bones of drowned sailors."
Justin Paton in 'Warren Viscoe Life and Limb' pub 2000 by Sarjeant Gallery . pg 44
2400 x 290mm
Carved and painted wood, rock, wall art
Mixed media sculptural installation mostly comprising of carved wood with a textured surface, painted white.
Credit Line
Collection of the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui. Purchased, 1998.
Collection Type
Permanent collection
Acquisition Date
03 Dec 1998



Accession Number:

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