Scientists call it the “hidden mind” – the one we aren’t aware of. The one directing our actions without our express consent. Walking around, waving Pinocchio arms and legs, with a hidden brain tugging the strings.
Denis Kupferschmidt highlights this powerful murky mind in her work. She sculpts with black, drawing the figures out of darkness, out of night. With deft fingers she plays on its social and cultural meaning to thrust this figure into ambiguous motion. In dance, soaring joyfully. In flight, running for its life.
Did you know hockey teams in black jerseys draw more penalties? They spend an average of two more minutes per game in the penalty box, 10% more than other colors. In football, more penalties. Black wins and loses games. Our hidden brain associates black with bad. (Empirical studies, peer-reviewed.) The devil didn’t make you do it, black did. Yikes.
Black slinks back to primal, when fire and idols ruled us. Why is our little black dress so sexy? Because black means trouble, a smoky seduction. Why does the SWAT team bust in black-clad? Because black conjures fear. Batman just couldn’t be Batman in grey.
This figure is a bird; it is human. It delves under contemplation and soars deep into our animal brain. Whispering that after all these centuries, we are still afraid of the dark.
If you’re a nerd, slow jam on these: