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Art from human waste

Meet a sculptor who designs models from his own bodily waste.

art and culture Updated: Sep 25, 2010 13:25 IST
Shweta Mehta

If sculptor Prashant Pandey’s first solo exhibit is anything to go by, shedding one’s blood, sweat and tears is no longer a literary exaggeration. In his collection Shelf Life, Pandey has made use of his bodily substances to create seven works, a culmination of his efforts over two years.

Human experiences and natural phenomena are what inspire Pandey. Along with recycled, reclaimed and abandoned materials, he has used his urine and blood in a few of his creations.

The collection derives its name from the perishable nature of the materials used. One of the pieces, modelled out of expired chocolate, lasted only for a few hours on the opening day of the exhibition. “I have used these objects to depict real life situations and human practices,” says Pandey.

Some of Pandey’s creations have evoked extreme and contrasting reactions. Gift, at first glance, is the damaged head of a female foetus. But a closer view reveals that it’s made by stringing together pouches containing Pandey’s urine, sweat and tears, mixed with formaldehyde.

“The aim is to show how the female foetus is flushed out of the body in the same manner as these substances.” Another of his works, Universe, is a large sphere fashioned out of cigarette butts, which Pandey worked for two months to collect from the streets.

“It’s hard to explain why I used substances from my own body,” says Pandey, “but they are of significant importance in my works.”