Athar Jaber

A Task for the Sculptor

Some call them prisoners. Others call them slaves.

Voluptuous limbs emerge from amorphous rock. They disclose virile figures entrapped in stone. Miserably dressed if dressed at all. A vague reminiscence of clothes is found in the form of shredded drapery, sticking to the wet, sweat soaked bodies. At moments, flesh and stone are indistinguishable from one another. It is unclear whether the engulfing matter wants to swallow or regurgitate the agonizing bodies that are engaged in an endless struggle to emancipate themselves from the tragic condition within which they have been entrapped for centuries.

According to Michelangelo, it is the task of the sculptor to set them free, to extract them from their captivity.

A metaphor or an actual call to socio-political activism?

Does a sculptor really have the means to enforce such a revolution?

Whatever the opinion may be, the work remains unfinished today, just as it was unfinished five centuries ago.