Films

Thomas J Price on ‘Moments Contained’

  • Jun 13, 2022

We go behind the scenes with British artist Thomas J Price who is unveiling a new 12ft sculpture titled ‘Moments Contained’ at this year’s Art Basel Unlimited.

For almost two decades, Thomas J Price has sought to dismantle the power structures propagated by traditional sculpture, prompting his viewers to question who society deems worthy of a monument. Using traditional materials and innovative digital sculpting techniques to create profoundly radical and highly original sculptures, Price inverts societal expectations and assumptions.

‘Moments Contained’ (2022) returns to the same fictional character Price created for his widely celebrated sculpture ‘Reaching Out’ (2020), reconfiguring the subject in a new scale and pose and highlighting subtle shifts in presentation and perception that resonate throughout his practice. ‘The figure itself, stands with hands in the pockets,’ explains Price. ‘You can see the knuckles slightly pressing through the fabric. And I think, there's also this sense of containing oneself. And that potential energy that's there. And the emotion or the psychological tension, that's just ready to emerge from this piece.’

Thomas J Price, Moments Contained, 2022 © Thomas J Price. Photo: Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich

Installation view, Thomas J Price, Reaching Out, 2020, The Line, London, UK Photo: Jeff Moore

‘The scale of this work is really there to challenge our current understandings of monuments’ —Thomas J Price

The works focus our attention on the systemic marginalization within public monuments, constructed through the artist’s hybrid use of traditional sculpting and digital technology. ‘I've often put works in public spaces because I love the element that this brings to it. The idea of something appearing in a public space, with a non-art audience who then feel very enabled to comment upon that work. It makes people aware of the things that have surrounded us for centuries, thousands of years—these images of powerful men.’

Since 2005, Price has sought to dismantle the power structures propagated by traditional sculpture. ‘The scale of this work is really there to challenge our current understandings of monuments, and our current understandings of monumentality. And again throughout much of my practice, to really explore, investigate and critique this idea of status and value within society. So who does society value? Who gets to be seen? Who gets to be represented?’ In ‘Moments Contained,’ Price has created a powerful monument that reassesses the history and legacy of statuary.