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The Flesh of the World

Ingrid Bachmann, video still, The Gift, 2014. Six-channel video and sound installation. Courtesy of the artist.


The Flesh of the World
June 25 - October 10, 2015

Work by Katherine Araniello, Ingrid Bachmann, Mowry Baden, Louise Bourgeois, Lisa Bufano and Jason Tschantré, Raphaëlle de Groot, Arseli Dokumaci, Helen Dowling, Lindsay Fisher, Erin Gee, Ann Hamilton, Sara Hendren, Wendy Jacob, Martin Kersels, Noëmi Lakmaier, Tim Lee, Darrin Martin, Bruce Nauman, Carmen Papalia, Catherine Richards, Stelarc, Aaron Williamson, Alexa Wright and Artur Zmijewski

Curated by Amanda Cachia

Co-presented by the Doris McCarthy Gallery & Justina M. Barnicke Gallery/University of Toronto Art Centre

Inspired by the 2015 XVII Pan American and Parapan American Games and the work of the philosopher of phenomenology, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, The Flesh of the World is an exhibition presenting diverse and complex views of the body that might deepen qualities typically associated with competitive sports and games, such as the relationship between the body and technology, and how the senses might offer new forms of knowledge to corporeal performance and potential. The Flesh of the World will push the limits of the body and challenge dominant culture’s understanding of normativity and embodiment through work by Canadian and international artists who use the body as a medium.

The artists critically inquire and experiment with the shape and forms of bodies, proving that, within the context of both the exhibition and the field of athleticism itself, the body is unfixed and indeterminate. The exhibition also makes important connections between the language of complex embodiment and the language of sports, given that many of the issues relating to endurance, physical limits, failure, pathos, and the human psyche, inform both these fields. It is within the confluence of these two worlds, sometimes playful, sometimes reflective, that we can radically expand our ideas of the corporeal apparatus as a whole. The works span across various media, including film and video installation, sculptures, framed photographs, drawings, paintings and several performances. The exhibition aims to emphasize how visitors might engage with this work across multi-disciplinary, multi-modal platforms. Just like the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games itself, this project offers up the artists’ work to the audience through a wider fulcrum of knowing the contours of our flesh.

The artists presented at the Doris McCarthy Gallery – Katherine Araniello, Ingrid Bachmann, Mowry Baden, Louise Bourgeois, Lisa Bufano & Jason Tschantré, Arseli Dokumaci, Sara Hendren, Darrin Martin, Carmen Papalia  – examine the role of prosthetic apparatuses and how they may be substitutes or even augmentations of and for corporeal experience. These “things” have evolved beyond the merely functional and take on aesthetic, poetic and metaphorical qualities. Consideration will go beyond artificial devices and will extend to the territory of the communal, where additional bodies may enrich and strengthen the abilities of the individual.

For more information on the exhibition, related programming and accessibility, please visit: 

University of Toronto Scarborough
1265 Military Trail, Toronto

Monday to Thursday, 11 am - 4 pm
Wednesday to 8 pm
Saturday, 12 - 5 pm

Admission is free.
The gallery is wheelchair accessible.

© University of Toronto Scarborough