Skip to main content
0
Info
Theme world

Body Images

Idealized or alienated, vulnerable or aggressive. The human body has accompanied the visual arts in all its facets since the very beginning. Which images of the body occupy contemporary artists? Which ones do they show? Which ones do we see only rarely? And is the viewer’s body also included?

When do you perceive your own body and when that of another person?

The traces of the outside world transfer to our bodies—the time, the places, the words, the instruments we use in everyday life, the glances we are given, the images of bodies we see. All of these experiences contribute to how we feel about our bodies, but also how it feels to be surrounded by other bodies, and in part they directly shape our bodies. Bodies have power and precisely because they are so “powerful,” they are also extremely sensitive.

Artwork Factory

Artwork Wolfgang Tillmans, Buchholz & Buchholz Installation 1993, 1993

This room represents an exact replica of the Buchholz & Buchholz Gallery, where Wolfgang Tillmans exhibited his photographs in 1993. Here the artist tested a form of presentation in which photographs, photocopies, and reproductions of magazine pages stand side by side on an equal footing and are distributed throughout the room.

Artwork Factory

Artwork Amy Sillman, Fatso, 2009

Amy Sillman’s painting “Fatso” shows in a cartoon-like style, in bright green, the massive, shapeless body of a grim looking figure. We can't tell if the figure is male or female.

Artist Factory

Artist Arthur Jafa

was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, USA, in 1960.

Do representations of the body always correspond to reality?

We see some images of bodies in the media much more often than others. They are often accompanied by judgmental words that refer to a standard invented by other people. Do so-called ideals include or exclude more? How important are beauty ideals to you and your friends? Are the images of the body we see in advertising and social media also distorted by beauty ideals and image editing programs? Do you also see positive sides to the possibilities of distortion and change, or are they mainly used for manipulation?

Artwork Factory

Artwork Andy Warhol, Ladies and Gentlemen (Wilhelmina Ross), 1975

The work on paper is composed of several layers of images: the print based on a portrait photo, a transparency, colored paper and tape. Andy Warhol assembles the portrait of an unknown person using a so-called collage technique. The figure looks at us with captivating eyes in a strong pose.

Artist Factory

Artist Andy Warhol

was born in Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, USA in 1928 and died in New York in 1987.

Artwork Factory

Artwork Alexandra Bircken, New Model Army, 2016

Four headless mannequins are lined up in a row, one behind the other. Artist Alexandra Bircken has sewn parts of used motorcycle clothing directly onto the plastic bodies with filler cotton and silk tights. The abrasion from accidents on the motorcycle clothing, as well as the hand stitching, act like scars on sculptures. Reuse of already used materials occurs frequently in Alexandra’s works.

What can your posture convey?

Have you noticed that you have a certain posture? And that it changes depending on how you feel? It is also influenced by what you and those around you think about your body. What adjectives or comparisons do we use to describe the diversity of bodies? Do you notice a difference in perception between a posture and a body image?

Artist Factory

Artist Keith Haring

was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, USA, in 1958 and died in New York in 1990.

Artist Factory

Artist Jutta Koether

was born in Cologne in 1958.

Artwork Factory

Artwork Andy Warhol, Ladies and Gentlemen (Wilhelmina Ross), 1975

The work on paper is composed of several layers of images: the print based on a portrait photo, a transparency, colored paper and tape. Andy Warhol assembles the portrait of an unknown person using a so-called collage technique. The figure looks at us with captivating eyes in a strong pose.

Where do our bodies’ powers stop?

The body is perceived less and less as a biological given that we must simply live with. The technical possibilities to change, expand and reshape it, which were long limited to science fiction, have increased. Why should our bodies stop at the skin or contain only what is enclosed by our skin? Do you know of examples that already function as extensions of the body? For example, your cell phone, dentures, or a protective suit? Contemporary art also negotiates the transformation of bodies and their images.

Artwork Factory

Artwork Seth Price, Image Rights Style Bag, 2012

Seth Price goes toe-to-toe with privacy: the artist uses linen and printed cotton lining, which he sews together to make envelopes. The 1.22 x 2.43 m “soft sculpture” is torn open. In fact, it is so soft that it can be folded like a garment and displayed again and again in a new form.

Artwork Factory

Artwork Alexandra Bircken, New Model Army, 2016

Four headless mannequins are lined up in a row, one behind the other. Artist Alexandra Bircken has sewn parts of used motorcycle clothing directly onto the plastic bodies with filler cotton and silk tights. The abrasion from accidents on the motorcycle clothing, as well as the hand stitching, act like scars on sculptures. Reuse of already used materials occurs frequently in Alexandra’s works.

Artist Factory

Artist Alexandra Bircken

was born in Cologne in 1967.