September 5-19, 2019
The Bakery – Atlanta, Georgia
There will be a geography of flesh and bone that surpasses the everyday limitations and distinctions of the world. Swedenborg called it the “Maximus Homo, The Universal Human”; Artaud pointed to the “Body without Organs”, freed from limitations. You yourself must know it: that shifting borderland between inside and outside, psychic and physical, collective and individual, human and animal, geography and cosmology…
This game and exhibition poses the problem of surrealism and the body—not just in the nostalgic sense of exquisite corpses and headless women, but rather in asking, what does the body mean in the 21st century—and what, despite the corporeal misery of the contemporary world, could it become?
Today the technological mediation of experience goes hand in hand with ever more obscure innovations in capitalist accumulation—of corporeality in particular, through the enforced creation of “bodily” data. At the same time, images of the body are still relentlessly proliferated with a view to enshrining its ever-holy position in the marketplace. And no longer hiding, a fresh gang of authoritarians and neofascists continue to glorify these highly limited conceptions of the body as a means to justifying their doctrines social and economic domination.
In this environment, our hypothesis is that surrealist critique needs to “embody” itself in a new way.
It’s in the parts that resist the cohesion of the whole that we hope to see the potential for a new bodily-poetic departure.
Using a “dysmorphic-critical” method, we invited participants in the surrealist movement from around the world to offer something of their own, some piece of their body they love or hate or wish they had, with a view to collectively extending beyond the particularities of little humanity into the cosmological wilderness of sensation.
Their task was to create a part that has broken free from its body. Each player was asked to select a “body part” that meant something to them or stood out to them—one of their own, real or imagined, or even from an animal or object. They were to re-make, characterize or otherwise represent the body part in its newly liberated state, freed from repression and at full liberty to seek its highest pleasure—and send us the result. That is what you see, hear, smell, and touch here today…