There’s a mouse strapped to the stomach of a fox. This might be considered some sort of sick joke if it weren’t for the fact that it’s a painted bronze sculpture. Nevertheless the animals are not here for a discussion on wildlife, predator and prey—although their creator Mark Manders admits that the idea of a living creature disappearing into another as food piques his interest. The Dutch artist conceived Fox/Mouse/Belt as part of a series about language and expression, a visual interpretation of a sentence. “When Manders began his ongoing ‘self-portrait,’” the Museum of Modern Art observes, “he decided that words did not convey the depth and texture of his thoughts, so he decided to write ‘not with words but with objects’”—as the title of this piece implies. Subject/verb/object. While the belt could be the object, for me, the object is clearly the mouse as far as the fox is concerned; in any case the fox is the subject who’s in the middle of leaping, the action. Permanently caught in a moment in time, the verb is always present tense.
(image reproduced for non-commercial use only)