"The Belly and the Members brings together artistic positions from 20 international artists that visualise and present the fragmented body as a provocative field of inquiry. Including work from a variety of media, the exhibition focuses on notions of fragmentation, dismemberment and decay specifically in relation to the human body and its inextricable psychological self. The Belly and the Members shares its title with an Aesop Fable from the 6th century BC wherein the extremities, or ‘members’, of the body go on strike in defiance of the belly who they believe to be greedily taking all the food; until they themselves weaken to the point of realisation that they cannot survive alone. The discernment that “all must work together or the body will go to pieces” becomes an allegory for a symbiotic reliance on reciprocal interrogation between artworks.
The Belly and the Members posits that the ontology of an artwork has much in common with the body: responding to pressures, meeting projected expectations and as an outward expression of an inner self whose surface remains a sensitive terrain susceptible to exterior traumas. As our interface with an external world, individually we each relate to the experience of inhabiting a body; but once dissembled, fragmented bodies stand collectively as analogies for our increasingly disparate society and global territories more generally. Living in what has been referred to as a “post-truth” world, the boundaries between fiction and reality come under scrutiny as artists compel a self-reflective reassessment of the political as well as the personal..."- Curated by Antonia Marsh
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