Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Extended and Prosthetic Bodies

The first thing I thought after reading over this collection of works was amazement at the breadth and variety of thoughts that can be expressed using the body and extensions of the body. From my limited experience, which includes drawing and painting, the body does not play a large role in the communication of ideas. There is some expression when bodies are portrayed in the paintings or drawings, but the options are much more limited than when using the body as an instrument- as they do in these works.

Another thought I had was that the general experience is very different here. When there is a body involved I think the reaction from the viewers- or in some cases participants- is very different. In another class we were discussing the difference of “just looking” and “possessive looking;” meaning that when just looking at something there is not the same level of involvement between the looker and the object that is being looked at as with possessive looking. When there is a painting being looked at I think that the act is less involved-in the sense that although one can be very interested and engaged in the painting the painting is not able to reciprocate. However, when there is a person involved- even if the person does not hold your gaze- the act of looking becomes intimate and engaging. I also think that this is why reactions to bodily works can be more intense.

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