Most of what you said in re post #166 I agree with and wonder what it is I seemed to have said. Your comments on photography seemed, to me at least, aimed at a post I am unaware of. I said I think photography is always to be considered an artform of its own...I'm confused.
Too, I think that you misunderstood my premise. I know I've elaborated on it in greater detail throughout the thread, but it certainly isn't that I think that an artist must create/control every aspect of their process. As I have been putting forth...I think that when an artist uses a device/technique/method that removes skill from the equation (meaning they or anyone could do it) and yet is rewarded with a by product that gives the impression they have skill...that constitutes an abdication of artistic responsibility. In this instance I will speak specifically to the issue of bodycasting...given that is the thread's topic.
Since the examples you used don't seem to jibe with what I said (to me at least)...I am at a loss to answer them. Truly I am unsure what I said that gave the impression I meant to paint with such a broad brush. Perhaps my wording was too ambiguous.
Concerning your final remarks....I can say that if an "artist" ends up contracting out more of their product to others than they do themselves...perhaps they are really not artists. I have great ideas for inventions quite often as well as book and movie concepts, but until I roll up my sleeves and do it...I am no inventor, author, or screenplay writer. It is not the first man who thought of flying that is credited with the achievement, but the one who accomplished the task. (In many ways this is the root of my problem with bodycasting. The cast itself is a non-achievement) An idea is not art in and of itself ( I say this in regard to the visual arts)....yes this takes aim at much of the conceptual/installation art that is foisted upon us in the present day. If it is worth my consideration...it should be worth the time and effort for the artist to create it.
Unfortunately, he still was very poor and working in a studio where things froze in cold weather. That piece fractured from the cold, and all he was able to preserve was the torso, with, I believe, fragments of the upper legs and portions of the arms. The head today is intact, but I don't know if he kept it in good shape or remodeled it.
The John the Baptist
was cast whole (a number of times) and is not the same work as the Striding Man. One such cast is in MoMA...by the elevators of all things.