The Body.

I didn’t catch the exhibition Body Worlds when it was in Southern California, but I’m going to it in San Jose during break. From looking at the exhibition photos and from what I’ve heard about if via word of mouth, the show is supposed to be a general presentation of the human body. However, in staging the bodies in positions such as a kneeling man holding his heart in his hands in prayer isn’t exactly a neutral and purely scientific display. While the exhibition is a reminder of how beautiful and complex out bodies are, it consciously/unconsciously raises important questions relating to the ethics surrounding science’s experiments with the body. An important discussion is raised in Lucia Tanassi’s lecture “Plasti-Nation: How America was Won” which can be found here about the biopolitics of this new science. Consenting legal documentation and tagging of bodies are some of the aspects touched upon.

In looking at Kittiwat Unarrom’s work in class, I failed to see how his bread art is suppose to remind us that we rush our eating and only consider taste. While I agree we do rush and overlook our health and safety when eating, I don’t think his work makes a really strong argument for this. On the other hand, I do see his work functioning as a gruesome warning that in consuming food, food may be consuming us. His work associates the process of making bread to the process of making fine art— practices that nowadays create consumer goods. I think this is a powerful statement and is current issue. I especially enjoyed the way he set up a shop selling his bread on bakery shelves and butcher shop hooks. I definitely want to eat some of his art!

Last week we also discussed plastic surgery and how it has changed the idea of beauty. The Cat Lady and the Tiger man are extreme examples of people changing their exterior to feel more “true to themselves”. Plastic surgery has changed the way we see ourselves as no longer physically static. While plastic surgery can be a superficial change such as breast augmentation it can also be a necessity in life threatening situations. While situations where people choose to change their gender isn’t physically crucial, it is more psychologically and emotionally necessary. For now, I think there can’t be boundaries to what you can and can’t do to your body with plastic surgery because in the end, it’s your body.

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