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An Introduction to Body

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The body—our bodies—have an evolving relationship with art across time. Starting out as a passive subject in traditional portraiture, the body is now readily called upon as an interlocutor between artist, art and viewer. It is our first frame of reference when considering scale (works are small, life-size, larger than life, bigger than us). It is a medium when it performs or participates in a work. It is a contested space, private and public; a space in which to highlight politics, nature, place, and attitudes; a space pivotal to the experience of making and viewing art. But as machine, screen and technology increasingly affect the way we live and interact, how are artists tackling the body as a conduit for exploration of function, identity and connectivity?  The post-internet age is forcing us to question the validity of the tangible. Are we being driven back to, or away from, the corporeal by the progression of culture?

The writers of our eighth issue consider the body in contemporary art practice: Matt Barlow (SA), Alex Burchmore (ACT), Emily Cormack (VIC), sarah crowEST (VIC), Steph Daughtry (SA), Ray Harris (SA) and Kate Power (SA).