Redefining The Human Body As “Meat, Metal and Code”: An Interview with Stelarc, δημοσίευση στο SLEEKMarilena Pateraki
Late in 2017, I attended a show by performance artist Stelarc, as part of the Wings Of Desire Symposium in Berlin. It was definitely not your typical art crowd, with an unsettling percentage baring surgically implanted horns and an even more unsettling percentage of white people with dreads. More unsettling still was the experience of watching the performers being rigged up, with hooks inserted through their skin. But once the performers were in position, I was captivated. Loud distorted sounds of the participants breathing echoed through the factory, as the five participants (or as Stelarc would call them, “bodies”) hung naked from the roof. Spotlights highlighted the bodies, throwing the whole crowd into a pit of darkness, duly focussing everyone’s attention on the performance. It was eerie, but beautiful. The performers had surpassed the immense pain and limits of the body, seemingly finding tranquility. Stelarc has been performing for over 40 years with his body as the medium and sometimes even the gallery space. His performances and works range from voluntary surgeries and robotic third arms to flesh-hook suspensions and prosthetics.
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