The Body in Art, Desire and Action

By:
Jennifer M. Mills
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The body’s use as a medium in art since the peak of conceptualism and performance art in the sixties and seventies has yielded some provocative art objects, images and questions. Provoked by a personal encounter and practice with self-inclusive art, this study addresses the questions arising from that personal journey. The element of narcissism in body-inclusive art is explored through Kohut’s The Restoration of the Self. Questions regarding the actual art object - body or photograph? - are approached from Barthes’ Sontag’s philosophies on photography. The body’s ability to reconnect the artist and the viewer to its primal origin is worked through Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy and Plato’s metaphor of the corporeal. Unique abilities of the body as medium are proposed with regards to the body as the locus for shared human experience and shared human understanding of the senses. Mendieta and Gormley’s respective motivations for incorporating their bodies into their work are also explored. This study is in association with a larger creative project engaging the body in several unique contexts culminating in a series of photographs.


Keywords: Art, Body, Experience, Photographs, Nietzsche, Ana Mendieta, Antony Gormley, Sontag, Barthes
Stream: Analysing Artforms
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Body in Art: Desire and Action, The


Jennifer M. Mills

Student, Concordia College
Art Departement, Concordia College, Moorhead

St Paul, MN, USA

Jennifer Mills is an artist from St. Paul, MN. She is interested in the use of the body in art and the body's place in art's history. A photographer, performance artist and painter, Mills studies and writes about the body in conjunction with a series of larger creative projects. As a writer Mills is interested in comic commentary on the banal, and her study of music and drama feeds her desire to understand aesthetic experience.

Ref: A06P0512