Kiki Smith: Standing - Stuart Collection at UC San Diego

3/24/2022; 2 minutes

The female figure atop "Standing" calls forth thoughts of human strength and frailty, and both the power and the limits of medicine. Serene and ageless, she stands in a Madonna-like pose that is both vulnerable and generous. Ribbons of water - the source of life - flow from her hands into the rock-lined pond below, with a soothing sound.

The skin surface of the body itself is violated to reveal the musculature and tendons of arms and calves, reflecting Kiki Smith's interest in such anatomical illustrations and models. A "necklace" of starfish-headed pins, placed in the shape of the constellation Virgo, pierces the flesh, calling up a profusion of associations, from acupuncture to dissection to martyrdom. With these tiny starfish like a veil of Virgo gems, the delicate pins call up at once the oceanic and the celestial, in an image that speaks of mind and body, of flesh and healing.

Like what you learn?

Donate to UCTV to support informative & inspiring programming.

Links & Resources

More Programs With


Subscribe to receive email notifications about featured videos.
(c)2020 Regents of the University of California. All right reserved. Terms and Conditions of Use.