The object in the picture seemed to satisfy an eternal longing for its own sublimination—a body, freed from infiate materiality, meeting its own spirit.

Vik Muniz on Individuals

For his series Individuals, Muniz set out to create a body of work that existed solely in documentation—a collection of sculptures shaped, photographed, and then destroyed. Conceived as sixty different works, Muniz used a single lump of white Plasticine to hand-shape each object following a set of rules: “objects could not look completely organic or geometric, they could not look artificial or natural, their forms were to be as ambiguous as their material.” After each sculpture was complete, Muniz took a photograph using a friend's Hasselblad camera, destroyed it, and started again. The process repeated itself sixty times until Muniz ran out of film, and patience. To show the series, the artist displayed his photographs with empty pedestals of varying sizes and let the public imagine his sculptures in three-dimensions. What Muniz did not disclose however, was that they were looking at the same lump of Plasticine re-shaped and re-imagined over and over again, recalling a concept conceived by the Greek philosopher Parmenides, “the same thing is there both to be thought and to be.”