Two years ago, I discovered ‘Fanta Laura’ – a sculpture by Australian artist Joseph Marr at ‘Ostrale O12’ in Dresden, Germany. The melting girl became an instant hit among many mesmerizing artworks. With her lucent shimmering body and well shaped curves she sure stood out. The naked body, vintage hair-do, innocent looking face, and her delicate hands holding a rope around her shoulders – the work was intriguing, radiating with a mysterious aura.
As I went closer to admire her beautiful figure, I had to fight the desire not only to touch this piece just to feel what it’s made of, but also was fighting the urge to actually lick it, because she looked so delicious (in several ways). To my surprise, the material Marr worked with to achive this outstanding look, was not acrylic resin as I might have guessed. No, ‘Fanta Laura’ was made indeed made of Fanta (a highly saccarated soda pop), as the name suggests.
The international exhibition of contemporary art ‘Ostrale O12’ in Dresden took place in an old farmstead and lastet the whole summer of 2012. So Laura’s melting was inevitable, since she wasn’t placed in a cooler but under a hot roof. I favoured this work of art, because it spoke to me on so many levels. Not only was it a portrayel of a beautiful woman that literally tasted like sweets, it was also a reflection of destruction and transformation, showing how beauty can fade away in a blink of an eye. Marr builds a tasty visualization of desire and decay. Sticky and tacky, like romance can feel in some contexts. He translates the concept of beauty into something that tastes super-sweet, but is not build to last.
Marr has used different substances for his other works, e.g. Ahoi Brause flavour (German effevescent powder) and licorice, preserved with several layers of polyurethane to make them durable. For example the 9 meter long installation ‘Together’ now embellishes the bar area at the infamous Berlin nightclub ‘Berghain’.
Joseph Marr was born in 1979 in Australia and now lives and works in Berlin.