Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Art and the Body

Art and the Body
essay by Lee Ufan (excerpt)

"The body mediates between the inside and the outside, and can arouse us to the possibility of a more open situation. There is mutual cooperation between consciousness and the body, but they are not identical. The body is more strongly connected to the greater world than consciousness. The body is part of the outside world. 
Therefore, human beings can know the outside world and experience transcendence by taking advantage of the existence of the body and the role it plays. This is the reason that I am so concerned about the body. 
In order to join the body and consciousness at a high level, I highlight this ambiguity and always do my best to act physically. I make art by performing repeated actions with the body, thus bringing about transformations and changes in my ideas and increasing the depth and expansiveness of the work. My personal capacity may be only 10, but it is magnified to 20 or 30 by the operation of the body in relation to the outside world. It is only through the existence of my body that I can make a work of art that transcends my self. As more externality is incorporated, transparency fades, the unknown appears, and the work becomes richer in content and allusion. 

The body and consciousness are sometimes in conflict and sometimes in accord. This leads to divergence in the process of making. The work takes on otherness as externality penetrates it via the body. An even more important aspect of employing the body is the fact that art-making is a site of encounter with externality. Experience is contact with the outside world, through which one can sense infinity. Making art is truly living, and touching infinity, through physical action."