Sunday, December 11, 2005


Photo by Francine Gagnon.

Does anyone say he is his body, period?

What is it that makes the body such a scandal? Is it because bodies we see are not our bodies? Is it this un-identity, the fact that empathy seems like a childish dream, some sort of ridiculous belief? Is it that touching is losing my own touch? Listen to Wittgenstein: The truth is: it makes sense to say about other people that they doubt whether I am in pain; but not to say it about myself.
So there is a basic egocentrism in our thinking about the body. In English, we say "take a walk in my shoes". Compare it to the Polish version: "put yourself into my skin". (Strange, how my skin seems to define me.) Is a racer without his car still a racer?
And that's where the fear of skin appears. And the obsession of skin. Its shapes, tones, actions.
How many skins can I have, how distant is this skin from mine, what can be done with this skin. Using it to re-create identity, as a toy, a scandal, or any other pretext. And we all do it - which is scary, and nice : feel the carress. It translates the other into what's yours.
And vice versa.

NB: Here is a short overview of body in contemporary art (in French)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It remember's me another article of yours about skin with a photo of Arnie Schwarznegger.

We repeal skin but also we fall in love with. It's the most human thing we have, I thing... It could be a good thing or a bad thing.



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