An exploration of the body in contemporary culture.
In everyday language, a “proxy” is an agent external to the subject,
and is authorized to assume his / her functions and specificity. In
other words, s / he / it is an intermediary that takes tangible form and
has the capacity and responsibility to substitute an existing subject.
A project by the Italian artist Norma Jeane, Body Proxy is both an
exhibition and a collection of texts. Replacing the traditional
catalogue, this volume brings together excerpts from Edoardo
Boncinelli, Federico Boni, William S. Burroughs
, Kristina Forslund,
Umberto Galimberti, Giovanni Maria Pace, and Paul Virilio
Focusing on the perception of the body in contemporary scientific,
philosophical, and sociological discourse, the book's first image is a
neutral photograph of a light-blue liquid, advertising's substitute for
the embarrassing organic liquids secreted by the human body. The
process of “sterilization” and abstraction that our bodily fluids
undergo in an attempt to adapt them to the language of publicity is
emblematic of the idea of the “body proxification.” Body Proxy
concentrates on the theme of the body and how it is perceived in
society and contemporary culture. Particular attention is given to
the idea that the body is, paradoxically, progressively becoming a
surface or material on which to project and mold desires, heedless of
the fact that it has potential and particularities of its own.
Published with the Helmhaus Zürich, on the occasion of an exhibition
that will be also shown at the Swiss Institute in New York (January-
February 2005), and the Kunstverein Freiburg, Germany (April–May
Norma Jeane, born 1962 in Los Angeles, lives and works in Italia.