A Body of One’s Own

In the process of cognitive development the body is central to how we understand facets of identity such as gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity. Historically people altered their bodies (hair, clothing, body modification) to rebel against – or to support – social conventions and to express messages.

Art has not always been a free space and like any other form of education, has been monopolized by power and exploited to create consensus.
Initially addressed only to men, it was difficult for women to access this form of communication, and often the same freedom of expression was denied to women, simply because women.

while the female body has always been the subject of art, women themselves have not been allowed into that sphere so easily!

Many artists used – before being able to express themselves freely through their body – painting and photography as media for self-representation and for the dissemination of ideas; from painting, to photography, to body-art to express a claim not only of the body but of the “perceived through the body” be it pain, pride, joy or madness.

the body took on another important role as a medium with which artists created their work. In performanceart – a term that emerged in the 1960s to describe a diverse range of live presentations by artists, including actions, movements, gestures, and choreography. Performance art is often preceded by, includes, or is later represented through various forms of video, photography, objects, written documentation, or oral and physical transmission – as the genre was starting to take hold, the actions an artist performs are central to the work of art. For many artists, using their bodies in performances became a way to both claim control over their own bodies and to question issues of gender.

The ways we behave and express ourselves are shaped by the cultures in which we participate. Since the mid-twentieth century, philosophers, social scientists, and historians have theorized that gender—the roles, characteristics, and activities that distinguish men from women—are not innate but socially constructed. Behaviors thought to be feminine or masculine differ from one culture to another and across time periods.

We will talk about the work of several world artists such as artemisia Gentileschi, Gina Pane,  Janet Sobel, Carolee Schneemann, Yayoi Kusama, Miru Kim, Annie Sprinkle, Diana Juvent, Francesca Woodman and more.

Noema Pasquali

Room 453 – Slot: 7 : Fri. 2:00pm-3:30pm