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Tempo psicanalitico

Print version ISSN 0101-4838


MASSON, Céline. Modified body images: new forms of identity. With a note on the cadavers of anatomist Gunther von Hagens. Tempo psicanal. [online]. 2012, vol.44, n.2, pp. 321-340. ISSN 0101-4838.

Art reflects sociocultural evolution. Our time is linked to strong sensations, to the extreme images. Artists exalt violence; they exhibit the organic body and its matter, even exposing the corpse for aesthetic ends. Don't they interrogate the new relationships between medicine and the body? The place where we can see that the body disappeared is the doctor's clinic. Doctors don't examine the body anymore, be cause what is important is what is in its interior. The enthusiasm for incineration is a way not to confront the rottenness of the body, which fascinated people in the past. The body is evanescent, should vanish in smoke, or be conserved intact. This is the principle of embalmment and of the corpse estheticized by anatomist-artist Gunther von Hagens: to estheticize the body for pedagogic ends and those that we would name commercial - the body has life after death and may be exchanged for money. Starting from this example of the art of corpses, we interrogate the fields of medicine and con temporary art on how the body enrolls in an economical and political logic, which implies a certain treatment to the body.

Keywords : body; medicine; transformation; corpse; disappearance.

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