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Art, Ethics and Provocation


Edited By Anna Suwalska-Kolecka and Izabella Penier

The main purpose of this volume is to look into a wide spectrum of artistic ventures which cross boundaries and challenge habitual thinking, consequently involving an element of provocation. While it is true that not all great art is provocative, the most memorable artefacts are these which have confounded our aesthetic expectations or stirred our moral imagination. However, as the turn of the millennium witnessed ever more shocking artistic gestures of provocation, the question arises if there are any limits to artistic freedom. The essays collected in this book offer a truly interdisciplinary perspective and deal with creative acts of transgression from a broad range of fields: literature, theatre, visual art, film, anthropology, and others. This volume will appeal to readers interested in artistic and academic pursuits that are subversive and irreverent.


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4. Taboo Breaking in Art and the Scandalous Nature of Gendered Aesthetics


Anna Frąckowicz The Higher School of Art and Design in Łódź Crossing the Boundaries of the Body. Transgression or a Continuum Abstract: Is the body a natural boundary, a layer separating the inner part of a human being from the external world? The structure of the human organism, densely filled with recep- tors, helps receive information from the environment. Inside our body there occur some reactions, which go far beyond purely scientific understanding. Although science penetrates the interior of the human body and examines it at the level of particular molecules, it is art that reveals what is hidden from sight. Observing their own body, artists often get to its spiritual core. Artistic body stigmatisation and ultimate transgression of the taboo of death prove that the artist’s space of activity has no limits. Art perceived in this way becomes a tool which lets us see the invisible, experience the impossible, cross the boundaries of cognition. “The artist’s sensitive nervous system” (Stefan Themerson) brings back the subtle balance between the composition of the body and the soul, which the man is. The body becomes a tissue which links the human interior with the external world. Keywords: art, painting, sculpture, performance, body art Is the human body a boundary that separates the inner part from the external world? The matter of the human body hides mysteries of the human soul. Through a thorough understanding of the matter, we can see in the right light the composi- tion of the...

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