Artwork

Pieter Laurens Mol
Anatomy Lesson (Sand in the Machine), 2001

  • Cibachrome-Print on Dibond
  • 135 x 182 cm
  • Acquired in 2017

Pieter Laurens Mol named as essential for his photographic work in 2017: “Chance as a source of ideas and my roots in Dutch art.” Mol‘s color photography may initially suggest the great tradition of Dutch still life painting, which took place in the 17th and 18th centuries. The artists fascinated with beautifully painted plants, fruits or animals or tried to appeal to the curiosity with instruments, cutlery or weapons. The title Anatomy Lesson is at the same time a direct reference to another masterpiece: The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, 1632. It shows Dr. Tulp with a medical instrument surrounded by seven surgeons who, for teaching purposes, bend over a dead body whose left arm is being dissected. In Mol’s photo, it is his artistic medium itself, the camera, which was apparently taken apart for the purpose of a ‘dissection.’ However, the heaped up sand is just waiting to infiltrate the mechanics of the apparatus and make it irreparable, in accordance with the subtitle of the photo.

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