(a) Lygia Clark, Máscara Abismo (Abyss Mask), 1968. (Photo courtesy CDOC/Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro)
(b) Stelarc, Helmet No. 3: Put on and Walk, 1968. (Photo by R. Griffiths. Courtesy Stelarc.)
Clark's Abyss Mask was part of her Nostalgia of the Body series. It blindfolded the eyes and incorporated large plastic airbags weighted down by stones hanging from bags made of net. Clark often worked with simple and ephemeral materials such as plastic bags, stones, air, shells, water, sand, styrofoam, fabric, nylon stockings and elastic bands, which acquired meaning only in relation to the participant who used them in sensory explorations of texture, weight, scale, temperature, sound and movement. The objects produced real and imaginary sensations that aimed at connecting the body's inside and outside spaces. Working along similar lines, Stelarc produced Helmet No. 3 as part of a series of six different helmets structured to split one's binocular vision in various ways. They were the starting point of Stelarc's relentless investigation of the limits and possibilities of the body. This helmet impeded frontal vision, stressing peripheral vision instead. Each eye saw unrelated sets of images that could not coalesce in a three-dimensional solid, but formed a combination of fragmentary images without depth. As the person walked around, the multiplicity of views--from the side, back, above and below--resulted in the person groping forward.
Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica
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