Week 6: The Human Bread, Courtney Tran

I was really excited over the week since we were discussing the Body Worlds exhibit and the body and form in general. I was really fascinated by how Kittiwat Unarrom- sorry if the spelling’s wrong- managed to make bread in the image of human heads and body parts. I think the most thought-provoking kind of art is the kind that takes our human body- something we strongly identify with- and creating a sort of out of body experience for us by making us look at ourselves as exhibits. It is frightening and eerie on many levels, but it definitely gets us thinking. I was thinking: that’s… us. This must be how it looks in world where humans are the cows in slaughterhouses. It gets me thinking about so many things including the ethical implications of slaughterhouses. The humbling experience of seeing decapitated, grossly bleeding human heads and parts made of bread remind me about death and the freakier things in the world- like cannibalism even. I didn’t even know how to react initially. THAT is good art. I am pleased to mark some progress here, because I remember being confused about what art was at the start of this class. Now I know what Professor Vesna meant.
It is discomforting for me to think of the human body as being a sort of mechanical object, as opposed to something with a soul and conscience. It takes out the miracle in life. I remember one of our TA’s mentioning that using MRI’s to produce human art, rather than just plastination, would take the art to a different level, or bring it deeper into the human anatomy. I actually prefer the Body World’s exhibit over MRI art because the physical presence of a plastinated body kind of captivates the aura of the human- rather than just a sort of x-rayed visualization of inner human parts. I think it is more affective in captivating an audiences’ attention and making the whole viewing experience more powerful. Then again, that undercuts the educational element in the exhibit, but, I doubt a majority of exhibit viewers will make sense of the colors and images in an MRI image.
I like how our discussion about the human body in class can relate to other applications in the real world- like Gordon Matta Clark’s artwork. Like artists like Unarrom managed to distort our thoughts of the human body (or how about that guy that grew on a third ear), Gordon Matta Clark was able to take buildings and manipulate them in a way that was unusual or unthought of. Human bodies relate with these buildings. It is really scary actually. Just scary. Art is so unpredictable it scares me. I like it a lot.

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