Exhibition focuses on the body as art and expression
Posted November 26, 2008; 10:37 a.m.
The Princeton University Art Museum is presenting "Body Memory," an exhibition of more than 60 works of art that depict the body in a variety of guises: as an object and agent of desire, as the site of scientific inquiry, as base matter, as a symbol of enlightened consciousness, as the focus of personal and political allegories and as an implement for the creation of form.
Drawn almost entirely from the museum's permanent collection, the exhibition features contemporary prints, drawings, collages and video, as well as a wide selection of photographs, both contemporary and historical. It will be on view through Jan. 4.
"This exhibition not only explores the wide range of emotional, political, cultural and erotic meaning projected onto the human body, it also serves as a case study for integrating works from the museum's new contemporary art department, established almost a year ago, with those from other departments at the institution," said Kelly Baum, the Locks Curatorial Fellow for Contemporary Art, who organized the exhibition with Joel Smith, curator of photography.
"Collaborating as Joel and I have done allows us to create a fuller, more exciting perspective on a single subject than we would have been able to do alone," Baum said.
"Body Memory" examines the diverse ways in which contemporary artists have used the body as an expressive device. Three works recently acquired by the museum as part of its new commitment to contemporary art set the parameters for the exhibition: Ana Mendieta's 13 black-and-white photographs, "Untitled (Glass on Body Imprints -- Face)" (1972); the eight collages from Wangechi Mutu's "Chorus Line" (2008); and Yinka Shonibare's high-definition digital video "Un Ballo in Maschera (A Masked Ball)" (2004). Each work provides a unique perspective on the body, one that is contradicted, developed or embraced by others in the exhibition.
Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.