ExhibitionThe House Where You Live Forever

Marina Coelho

In the course of the art of the past 50 years the body has always been subject, symbol and medium of different kind of artistic practices. The performance art in the late sixties and seventies gave room for bodily artistic experiences and reflections from and within the body. Since this pioneering period one remarks that in the post-digital era we live in today, artists again relate to the notion of the body in a wider and complex sense. This exhibition is a sample of artists who relate to a certain notion of the body.

The body is what the human being has as a major tool to build his/her history, a medium with which daily experience is constructed and with which one has to deal with the changing reality. Even when bodies and entities are made and constructed as wished, it is still through the membrane of the body that one experiences life. Like with nature, some people neglect the body, while others do consider it as the most vital in life. In any case, it is through the body that one feels warmth and cold, hunger and pain, joy and excitement. In sports the body is under extreme stress for achieving competitive results. Dancers, actors, and performers use their bodies as a tool and instrument for communication. But in most cases people just live their lives not paying so much attention to the functioning of the body. Only when the body malfunctions (due to illness,...) one devotes more attention to the sick body. We live our lives, using our bodies without thinking about the blood and flesh, which composes it.

It is the series of prints Femme-Maison by Louise Bourgeois, which directly links the notion of house and body. Even if Bourgeois’ work should be read in a very autobiographical and even feminist way, it can be taken as point of departure for the body as a house, the only house where we live forever.

With this exhibition the notion of the body is explored through the practice of a number of artists with different ways to deal with the notion of the body. Together all the artist in the exhibition form a kind of kaleidoscopic essay of the dearest thing to treasure in an age of virtual and digital supremacy. They also remind us of the obsession that our society has with the idea of the perfect body, and the need of always having it perfoming with progressive results.

Exhibition curated by Marina Coelho for Garage Rotterdam