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Torso in Metal from Rock Drill

When the American-British artist Jacob Epstein began his “Rock Drill” sculpture in 1913, depicting a cyborg-like figure on top of an industrial rock drill, it was intended to celebrate humans’ invention of machinery and its improvement of civilization. But soon after the artist made radical changes to the piece, cutting the torso from the structure and transforming it into the haunting sculpture seen at the Tate Britain today.

This action had been prompted by Epstein’s revulsion and anxiety toward the mechanized warfare of World War I. In the wake of the unprecedented destruction, what was once a celebration of technological advancement became a meditation on the dehumanizing impact of technology on the human condition, renamed “Torso in Metal from Rock Drill.” 


About the source: Atlas Obscura

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