“Ghost Writer” is a suspended sculpture created by Ralph Helmick and Stuart Schechter in 1994. It consists of 2500 separately cast aluminum elements suspended on 900 wires.
There are three segments to the composition:
- A head composed of over 1500 cast aluminum letters. The head is both androgynous and a composite of world racial and ethnic types.
- A spiral passing through the center of the piece. It is a metaphor for imagination and creativity.
- Ambient symbols floating throughout the piece. Within the piece there is historical world sculpture imagery, as well as intentional words.
Historical Sculpture Imagery in “Ghost Writer”
- Venus of Willendorf (Germany, c. 25,000 B.C.)
- Minoan Bull Leaper (c. 3,500 B.C.)
- Nefertiti (Egypt, c. 3,500 B.C.)
- Inuit mask
- Tlingit Mask (Huna tribe, Chacogf Island, 19th c.?)
- Tsimshian Mask (British Columbia, 19th c.?)
- Spirit Mask (Lower Congo, Gabon, 19th c.?)
- Seneca Mask (New York, 19th c.?)
- Donatello Niccolo di Uzzano [“the Lawyer’] (Italy, c. 1430)
- Easter Island Stone Heads (16th c. or earlier)
- Iroquois mask
- Cree carved wooden Head (Manitoba, 19th c.)
- Aztec Head of Laughing Child (Mexicao, 8th c.?)
- Olmec head (Mexico, 6th c B.C.)
- Dance Mask (Cameroon, 19th c.?)
- Head of Buddha (India, 6th c. A.D.)
- Head with Three Faces (Angkor, c. 1200 A.D.)
- Brancusi Sleeping Muse (1909) and The Kiss (1907)
- Picasso Head of a Woman (1932)
- Giacometti head The Nose (1947)
- Henry Moore Mask (1929)
Words Encrypted in the Sculpture
doubt | charity | joy | silence | sex | laugh | habit | trust | hope | faith | focus | work | listen
These words are often visible only from odd angles with the letters different distances from the viewer.