Based on a 3D scan of an original marble sculpture from the 2nd century, part of the Doria Pamphili Gallery in Rome collection, Ram with Human depicts a scene from Homer’s Odyssey, where Odysseus, one of the victorious Greek leaders, escapes the Cyclops. Cyclops were giant lawless creatures and cannibals without culture. Polyphemus, the Cyclops in whose cave Odysseus and his man found shelter, was enraged by their intervention, killing some of the men. Constructing an elaborate plan, Odysseus blinded the Cyclops and escaped through the mouth of the cave with the remaining men, tied to giant sheep from the Cyclops’ flock.
The sculpture is a continuation of Laric’s interest in the relation between human and non-human animals, through which he questions the rigid hierarchies imposed by man upon our understanding of nature as the Other and as subject to domination and power imposition, rather than as a complex web of interdependencies that we are a part of. Ram with Human can be perceived as an example where traditional hierarchies between animal and man, master and servant, have been disrupted. The sculpture emphasizes the profound connection between humans and animals, their mutual affinity, and their dependence on each other.
Made from multiple 3D printed parts composed of a wide range of light and contemporary materials, the sculpture is characteristic for its formal diversity, resembling the heterogeneous and hybrid nature of the present digital age. Ram with Human, 2021 was on view as part of Oliver Laric’s solo exhibition Timelapse at The Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (S.M.A.K), Ghent.