The cultural framework and biopolitics of capitalist globalisation has resulted in an increased concentration on the body as a site of production—in contemporary art as in life. Just as the historical avant-gardes sought to overcome art’s autonomous and isolated relationship to society by way of inviting in the ‘praxis of life’; so do contemporary artists whose focus is bodies and subjectivities. In an ever-emergent bio-economy, it is not just the body, but subjects and their lives that are crucial to value creation.
To coincide with the launch of Dissect Journal 3, co-editor Audrey Schmidt curated an exhibition including artists whose work focuses on ‘the body’: embodiment, the collective body, the body as an institution (‘the body corporate’), the body as vessel, as commodity and as site of production. In varied ways, the work featured engaged with the intersections between subjectivity/identity, art, commerce, technology, critical theory and political activism as it relates to ‘the body.’ The exhibition was held in an Airbnb, whose quasi lived-in space took contentious elements such as ‘naturalism’ and highlighted its fully managed artificiality—producing an experience of what ‘reality’ might look like and speaking to the merging of public and private spheres.
Read more about Karen Finley’s Sext Me If You Can project (offsite Melbourne edition) as a part of Tell Me What You Have and I Will Know What You Are.
Tanja Ostojić’s Strategies of Success / Curators series (2001-2003) installation was also partially remounted for the exhibition including her video performance works I’ll Be Your Angel (2001) and Be My Guest (2001).
ANASTASIA KLOSE, BODY BY BODY, CALLAN BRADLEY HALES, CRISTINE BRACHE, ELEANOR IVORY WEBER, HANA EARLES, JAMES FERRARO, KAREN FINLEY, KATHERINE BOTTEN, KATIE WEST, MONICA’S GALLERY, NATASHA MADDEN, PHEBE SCHMIDT, QUINTESSA MATRANGA, RARE CANDY, RUTH O’LEARY, TANJA OSTOJIĆ
Poster by Natasha Madden