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The Body

March 10 – April 21, 1991

Laurie Palmer
Scent, 1990
Lawrence Andrews | M.W. Burns | Ken Feingold | Felix Gonzalez-Torres (New York) | Barbara Hammer | Doug Hammett (Los Angeles) | Gary Hill | Wendy Jacob (Chicago) | Hilja Keading | Liz Larner (Los Angeles) | Patti Martori (New York) | Paul McCarthy | NASA Ames Research Center | Laurie Palmer (Chicago) | Aimee Rankin | Sarah Seager (Los Angeles) | David Sedaris | Shelly Silver | Kiki Smith (New York) | Sean Smith (Los Angeles) | Erika Suderburg | Therese Svoboda | Marianne Trench | Bruce and Norman Yonemoto
Throughout the 1980s a semi-private manner of artmaking has toiled beneath the vociferous excesses, theoretical extrapolations, and politics of neo-Expressionism, Media Consciousness, and Art Activism, and is quietly obsessed with investigating human physicality and chemistry through precisely literal and symbolic materials, objects, and situations. These sensuous transformations, proliferations, and amputations subtly and profoundly influence one's understanding of the human body, its physical and chemical strength and fragility. These artworks are neither explicitly sexual nor aesthetically formal, opting instead for insinuated sexuality and appropriated formality. Sexuality is experienced through glass, wax, lead, saliva, rubber, and wood, and their receptiveness to further humanization through manual processes, use, erosion, and age. Formailty is experienced through theatrical and/or narrative juxtapositions of mannequins, bottle racks, medical equipment and display cases within interior architectural spaces.

A feeling of displacement and disenchantment results, hinting that contemporary society fails to sympathize with certain physical, emotional and psychological needs. The ever-increasing congestion, isolation, pollution, and decay of urban life makes these artists acutely aware of the delicate balance of their physical and mental metabolisms.


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