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Conference «The Artist Body»

On Monday, March 18, at 14.00 in the White Hall of the Russian Institute for the History of Arts, the Fine Arts & Architecture Department holds a conference entitled “The Artist Body” (the cycle “Zubov Readings”).
What is the main point for an artist? Are his hands the artful hands of an artisan, which create, in fact, the “arts”, skillfully made things, artifacts? Is his eye observing an empirical “view of the world”? Is his mind formulating “artistic issues”, generating “methods” and “concepts”? Or maybe his body – as a source of unique experience, the space of individual, specific, irreducible, given once and for all by nature? Maybe “anatomy is fate”? The latter understanding has a rather late origin and is associated with modernism (and later, having already exhausted almost all other possibilities), in particular, with the general idea that only natural, physical matter is a guarantee of authenticity (surrealism in the Bataille version, Viennese actionism, early feminist art); in this sense, anyone – and the artist, among others – possesses nothing but the body. However, such an idea of physicality also gives rise to attempts to look from this point of view at the predominant, including classical art.