Walker Art Center

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The Body Electric

In an age dominated by digital technology, The Body Electric explores themes of the real and virtual, the organic and artificial, moving from the world into the screen and back again. Today, computer and phone screens are fast becoming the primary places of encountering new information, effectively blurring the boundary between three-dimensional space and the two-dimensional image. The exhibition presents work by an international and intergenerational group of artists who examine ways that photographic, televisual, and digital media change our perceptions of the human body and everyday life.

With works ranging from the 1960s to today, The Body Electric brings together artists including Eleanor Antin, Trisha Baga, Nam June Paik, and Shigeko Kubota, whose across performance, sculpture, and the moving image conflates the physical world and its life on screen. For many artists, such as Martine Syms, Andrea Crespo, and Lynn Hershman Leeson, the lens of the camera creates a space to rethink ways that sociopolitical identities are represented and to question the structures that govern our understanding of race, gender, and sexuality. For others, such as Mark Leckey, Pierre Huyghe, and Bruce Nauman, new technologies offer the opportunity to consider the malleable, fragmented, and impossible body.

Charting the embrace and manipulation of technology across varying generations, The Body Electric examines how the screen has increasingly shifted the way we picture ourselves and understand our place in the world.

Curators: Pavel Pyś with Jordan Carter