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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » September 29, 2014
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The Body, Religion, Sex and Death
September 29, 2014   
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A new exhibition at the Zachęta National Gallery of Art explores the theme of the human body in all its aspects, exploring its links to religion, sex and death.

The Corpus exhibition was inspired by Corpus (2002) and Corpus II. Writings on Sexuality (2013) by contemporary French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy. In his work, Nancy looks at human body and carnality and highlights the role that the body plays in religion. He focuses on Christianity, where the body of Christ is at the core the Christian faith and religious rituals. While referring to the Christian tradition, Nancy opposes separating the body from the soul, arguing the body is a kind of prison for the spirit. He also emphasizes the sexual role of the human body.

Corpus is the first in a series of exhibitions scheduled to take place at the Zachęta gallery with the human body as the central theme.

The 23 artists featured in the exhibition include Samuel Beckett, Marina Abramović, Alina Szapocznikow, Zbigniew Libera and Santiago Sierra and hail from different backgrounds and branches of art, such as sculpture, painting and film. All seek unorthodox ways to depict the human body, using techniques including X-ray photography. The exhibition opens with Status (with Timecode) by Dominik Lejman, a project alluding to the Lamentation of Christ, a painting from 1466 by Renaissance artist Andrea Mantegna. In Lejman’s work, an anonymous body is shown in a foreshortened perspective with a camera timecode to indicate that this is just one of countless dead bodies that stand no chance of resurrection.

Polish artist Marek Konieczny has contributed photographs of his own, naked body covered in bruises that look “like paintings,” as the exhibition’s curator Maria Brewińska puts it. Other artists featured at the Zachęta gallery tackle eroticism and pleasure. One of them is Betty Tompkins, whose photographs depict sexual intercourse.


Until Oct. 19
Zachęta National Gallery of Art
3 Małachowskiego Sq.
tel. 22 556-96-54; www.zacheta.art.pl
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