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Caspar Berger (Utrecht, January 24, 1965) is a Dutch politically engaged sculptor and conceptual visual artist. He specializes in sculpture, conceptual, video and installation art. He works with a variety of materials, including bronze, silver, gold, silicone and epoxy. He uses video in his installations. The phenomenon of the self-portrait in art history is central to his work. He works in Amsterdam.
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2005 saw the start of Skin, an impressive series of self-portraits for which Berger produced silicon casts of his own skin to create final works in a variety of materials, including silicon, bronze, silver and sometimes even gold. In 2012 Berger turned his attention from the outside of the body – skin – to its inside, the Skeleton. In 2015 Berger began his latest project Universe.
Current - UNIVERSE Project - Our shared and collective identity
In a Spirit of Brotherhood - 2022
Berger's most recent project Universe focuses on the 'consciousness' of our identity. Who are we in relation to our physical, social and political space? What is our unique identity and how does it relate to the collective identity that has shaped us within our humanistic tradition?
The Universe-project raises questions about freedom, privacy, social behaviour, self-determination and the capacity for self-development and makes these aspects visible in a new series of sculptures and installations that Berger has been working on since 2015. The work In a Spirit of Brotherhood about the murder of George Floyd, is part of this project.
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2012 - SKELETON Project - In search of our 'eternal' identity
In the Skeleton-project, Berger is looking for our 'eternal' identity, the identity that can tell us something about who we were even after we die. The relationship with our skeleton is twofold: it is tangible and close to us, but at the same time it is the symbol of death, from which we want to stay away as far as possible.
Berger found new possibilities to investigate the self-portrait by means of 3D copy of his body. In Skeleton he investigated in a series of self-portraits the relationship between the object and the viewer, the veneration of the object (Skeleton / Self-portrait 20) and the concept of canonization. Where and how is identity added and removed?
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2005 - SKIN Project – The 'I' and the external world
The skin as a metaphor for the physical boundary of our individual identity gave Berger infinite possibilities as an artist and has been the start of a long series of self-portraitsWith silicone casts, Berger could manipulate his skin physically: inside could become outside (Pietà) and positive negative (Imago). He could also literally stretch his skin or apply it on an existing 'basis', like the famous Torso Belvèdere.
In his versions of this Torso, he measures himself with the symbol of sculpture and his cultural identity. Using the skin as a metaphor, Berger could question universal themes like the relationship between identity, personal space and the external world.
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