The 3D sculpture THE WRESTLERS by Ditte Ejlerskov reimagines the Uffizi WRESTLERS, a marble sculpture of two men wrestling from the first century AD that epitomizes the idealized male body in antiquity. In Ejlerskov’s digital sculpture, the Uffizi WRESTLERS is reconfigured as two interlocked, muscular female bodies.
To Ejlerskov, the wrestlers are avatars without sex appeal. Her focus is open-source sharing and feminist discourse set in motion through the act of making and her motivation is deeply personal. The sculpture is a representation of competing forces within the human body – specifically the hormones oxytocin and adrenaline – connected to her personal experiences of giving birth.
This NFT is part of a millennia-long Eurocentric tradition of copying, and sometimes slightly modifying, this sculptural representation of the two struggling bodies. The Ufizzi WRESTLERS is itself a marble copy of the now-lost Greek original in bronze. Other replicas in bronze and plaster exist in numerous copies across the globe. Despite being one of Western art history's most well-known works, its origin and the original artist remain unknown.
Through the Creative Commons license, Ejlerskov’s THE WRESTLERS seeks to further layer the history of copying and reinterpreting classical sculptures. By placing the virtual sculpture in the shared digital public space, the artist complicates concepts such as authorship and ownership, original and copy.
The work is developed in collaboration with the Museet for Samtidskunst (Museum of Contemporary Art) in Denmark.