Identity sculpting – is helping people to see their identity or form their true identity. Michaelangelo defined sculpting as the art of “taking away,” and not so much the “adding on” of clay.” I’ve been thinking about seeing the Reconstructing Identity display at the Getty Villa this week. The torso was beautifully sculpted out of 2 pieces of stone – and limbs and busts were added to it to become a god, then Alexander the Great, and the someone else.
Identity formation can be identity sculpting – the art of taking away things that have become one’s identity. It’s taking a block of stone as the foundation and just sculpting away at the excess pieces. “The greatest artist has no single concept which a rough marble block does not contain already in its core…”,wrote Michelangelo in a sonnet.
It is possible to sculpt an identity-one that is already there – rather than add clay limbs to a block of ivory. It’s just added pieces – not carved out ones. In much the same we one can sculpt – both themselves and with others – but more on that as I develop the ideas.