Skip to content

5 Artists on Body Extension

In this post I will summarize five artists concerning their art as it relates to the body. Everyone of these Artists perceives body extension art differently, thus visually conveying it in many unique ways.

Rebecca Horn

She’s is one of the leading artist that deals with transforming or extending the body. With her work she likes to unseat people, make them fall out of their chair when they see it.

In one of the famous pieces The Cocoon Horn shows the two stage morphing of the human body, or extent of it. One phase shows the body inclosed in a cacoon, as if being securely protected from the outside world, and then broken free into the outside world as the cocoon unfolds and transforms into butterfly wings. In this piece she explores the sensuality of feeling alive.The cocoon

Rachel Whiteread

Famous for her works, Ghost, and House, Rachel produces casts of the space which ordinary objects do not inhabit (also called “negative space”). It is a solid cast of where the space within the object would be. For example space underneath chairs and tables. Although her work is very cool and thoughtful, I’m having a hard time drawing relationship between her work to the body. The conclusion I’m getting from her work is that she brings negative space, which we sensually avoid, to the fore-front of our existence. Suddenly our senses become aware of its presence. In the image below of the House, Rachel produced a full cast of the house, completely filling it, boxing it. It is a solid cast, no less, no more. I must say, that looking at her work, our senses extend to fill the presence of negative space, we can also ponder the idea that our body extends to the surrounding of what is there and how we relate to it. House

Caroline Broadhead

Trained as jeweler, Carline is a versatile artist who works beyond her discipline, producing larger scale art, with textiles, and even collaborative efforts with choreographers and dance performers. Her interests lie in the body or the absence of it; its senses and its movements. Light, shadow, and reflection play an important role in her work. In “The Waiting Game” Broadhead is extending the limit of the body by aimlessly radiating the dress in all directions. Therefore filling the presence of the body across the whole room. This makes the body omnipresent.

Nick Cave

Costume Designer/Artist, Nick Cave creates costumes he calls SoundSuits. His costumes are, as one critic put it “wearable sculptures”, made in mind not only to dress up, but to literally transform a person, hence metamorphose his body as to make it of alien descent or from “Monster Inc.”. By the look of his costumes you can tell that a lot of fabrication effort was put into crafting each costume. This is not cheaply made, home basement operation, cardboard and duct tape slapped, type of art; these are high quality complex designs that reveal a brisk level of expertise. The “SoundSuits” Sound Suit

Janine Antoni

A contemporary artist who fully immerses her whole body into her art. In plain English, she uses her mouth, hair, eyelashes, tongue…everything about her body, to make art. Most of her work have ritual and spiritual implications. She is the only artists I know who fully submerges her body in her art, as if performing a ritual while making art. The artwork “Saddle” reveals a knelt down human figure covered by a wet hide, thus making the figure kettle like — submisive, erotic and even personal.Saddle

Tags: , ,

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *