I have made a sculpture based on the Satyr as seen in Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy. The Satyr represents the man (human) existing on the edge of nature and culture, consciously choosing to habituate outside of society and civilization and embrace the animal within, the bodily, the untamed, the abject. This creature invokes a dual reaction, one of disgust, of revulsion and one of desire towards an unbridled existence free of the boundaries of societal conditioning.

I wanted to make a representation of this creature within me to encapsulate the yearning for a more meditative existence. I used paper mache to create the body, keeping in mind that it has to be light enough for easy transportation, and ensuring the use of recycled materials in keep with an environmentalist view.

The idea of the Satyr manifested itself in drawing and painting first.


The initial idea in painting

It was an enjoyable processĀ  as I have never made a sculpture like this before. It really felt like the piece was brought into being by me, as there was nothing and it became herself through the making.

It premiered in a one day popup exhibition as part of the Chinese New Year celebrations. The show was held in Q Park, a multistory parking lot, where 120 artists took over the place for a day of performances, installations and other works. It was a great experience to see a large group come together and formulate a wonderful and lively event.


You can find photos of the show on the above link.

Monika Tobel