Art and Bodies: Deconstructed and Constructed and Abused

Deconstructed and Constructed, but not in the same sentence.i-c5c23c3bf54a8577dc5533762f158769-Guston.jpg

Philip Guston’s “Sea,” a lithograph on handmade paper from 1980, the year the artist died.
Students at Cornell have constructed an exhibit of the art of human body disassembled or otherwise rearranged called Exquisite Corpus: Interacting with the Fragmented Body which is on exhibit through June 15th (details here).

“In contemporary art right now, there are no limits, no boundaries,” Hirsch said. “We wanted to show contemporary work, and show that art can be anything, maybe even vulgar.”The title and concept refer to the Exquisite Corpse, a Surrealist exercise in which three artists independently draw a section of a body: head, torso and legs. In “Exquisite Corpus,” viewers are also welcome to play.

Now, you now what this is, right? It’s that pallor game where you pass around the paper, each person draws a body part (in order from head to feet) folding their contribution out of sight and passing it on to the next person. …i-dda7bbd7914834af4bbb00a39e86ddd9-tunick1.jpgMeanwhile, in Austria, Cristo With Flesh artist Spencer Tunick has gone ahead and draped a major sports stadium in Austria with naked human bodies.

The latest work by New York photographer Spencer Tunick gathered 1,840 people, baring it all in Austria’s Happel Stadium on Sunday.”Stay very still. Don’t move,” the Austria Press Agency quoted Tunick as telling the crowd as he went to work.Much of the hours-long photo shoot had little to do with soccer, with naked volunteers assuming different poses at the behest of the artist. But at least one of the photos had them with the ball, men first and then the women.i-ff2c921f40a77340af71e4601782f03d-tunick2.jpgThe stadium will host seven of the Euro 2008 soccer championship matches being staged by Austria and Switzerland, including the June 29 final.Tunick has made a name for himself with his works featuring hundreds of naked people at unusual venues. He described Sunday’s shooting on his Web site as combining “the spirit of sports, the grand sweeping waves of stadium architecture and the abstract relation of the human form to modern structures.”[source]

But there are social limits to what the human body can be used for. Even if artistically done, robbing graves is generally frowned upon.

Authorities in Texas have filed corpse-abuse charges against two men who allegedly removed a skull from a grave and used it as a bong.The Harris County District Attorney’s Office confirmed on Thursday that misdemeanor abuse of corpse charges have been filed in the case.One of the men allegedly told police they dug up a grave in an abandoned cemetery in the woods, removed a head from a body and smoked marijuana using the skull as a bong.[source]

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2 thoughts on “Art and Bodies: Deconstructed and Constructed and Abused

  1. We can’t tell if the bong is art, but we know it is folk-craft:1) it has utility2) is hand crafted3)appeals to a localized population4)is made from readily accessible natural materials…

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