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Look into the Flesh of the World

Inside the Doris McCarthy Gallery, there is a series of eight mechanical and colourful tongues, simultaneously moving up and down, as a metal rod extends out of the wall, growing longer. The tongues represent the stories told by Pinocchio, a character usually remembered for his growing nose.  The piece titled Pinocchio’s Dilemma, created by multidisciplinary installation artist Ingrid Bachmann, is a visual exploration of the relationship between storytelling and lies. Wagging tongues, black and white films and interactive body socks are just some of the instillations inside the Gallery’s exhibition The Flesh of The World.

Curated by Amanda Cachia the exhibit features works by 24 artists from all over the world and will be co-presented by the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, University of Toronto Art Centre and the Doris McCarthy Gallery for the duration of the Pan Am and Para Pan American Games and through to October 10. “We might think of physical endurance, physical limits, and ability, failure, the body’s ability to perform in certain ways. The way the body is explored in this exhibition and the way the body performs in athleticism have many interesting intersections,” Cachia says. 

Cachia is an Art History, Theory and Criticism PhD student at the University of California, San Diego and her dissertation focuses on the relationship of disability and contemporary art. The exhibit challenges the visitor to assess how we experience the world through our bodies, rather than just our minds. For the exhibit Cachia drew her inspiration from philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty. “He talks about phenomenology, a philosophy based on thinking through the body, rather than just thinking through the mind,” Cachia says.

Past the tongues, continuing left into a dark room with two small wooden benches, visitors will encounter a 14-minute film by Darrin Martin projected on the empty white walls. The film shows twins looking at the same landscape while they describe what they see. We see the same thing but experience it differently based on life experiences. 

Another room has artist Sara Hendren’s interactive red and green body socks for the audience to try on to better understand sensory processing disorders. 

“Different generations, presumably younger generations particularly in the student environment will think of complex embodiments in new ways. I am excited by that,” Cachia says.

Visit the exhibition page at the Doris McCarthy Gallery for more information on visiting the art at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC).

© University of Toronto Scarborough