"The hand posed, pressed against the wall, grasps nothing. It is no longer a prehensile hand, but is offered like the form of an impossible or abandoned grasp. A grasp that could as well let go. The grasp of a letting go: the letting go of form."
- Jean-Luc Nancy, “Painting in the Grotto”, 1994
The paintings presented in Early Bodies draw parallels between prehistoric hominids and Artificial Intelligence, encapsulating both the prehuman and posthuman. Sanders constructs her paintings with layers of imagery depicting prehistoric stone tools, cave paintings, extinct hominids and recently developed AI real dolls. Veils of acidic hues illuminate scenes of evolutionary self discovery, bringing to question the anthropological distinctions made between anatomically modern and behaviorally modern humans.
The juxtaposition of prehistoric and AI imagery flattens the distance in time between the origins and potentiality of self awareness, suggesting that perhaps the threshold of what it means to be human exists at multiple points.