While looking at this sculpture, I became aware that I was grinding my teeth. There’s a reason: Yoan Capote was inspired to create the piece (called Stress) as a result of his own experience with stress-induced teeth-grinding. The work is also “a monument to the collective experience of contemporary urban life”.
Capote, who comes from Cuba, visited a clinic in Havana to make molds of teeth from several anonymous people. He then reproduced the teeth in bronze and conjoined the molds in a linear fashion. The bronze teeth bear the weight of each 500 pound concrete block.
The sculpture symbolically uses the notion of gravity, material and its weight to create the sculpture and the idea of burden; it also examines the meaning of teeth as an important part of the body used to establish identification or the identity of a person.
If you’ve ever felt the teeth-clenching pain of TMJ disorder, you’ll probably agree that Capote nailed it in sculptural form.
My work has been the result of analyzing objects and their relationship with our body; studying their interface, representation and physical or sensorial possibilities. My working process begins by applying different physical, social and psychological situations to the hard surface of urban materials and standard objects. When we use objects, they are an extension of our body and are connected with all the habits and human needs that define our behavior. The common object is understood by its sculptural and symbolic qualities. Traditional materials used for sculpture and the simple shapes found in minimal art are also reevaluated and personified, with the conceptual intention of speaking metaphorically about ourselves…
This concrete behemoth is part of a collection in Lincoln, NB. Check out Yoan Capote’s website for lots more interesting sculpture and installations.