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The artistic re-construction of the body and the aesthetic death of representation



The central arguments of this article are built around the question of what happens if there is “no more representation” in modern arts today. The author offers a map of the role the body plays in the contemporary civilization and culture, from the vantage point of artistic body representations caused by the aesthetic transformation of bodies in arts and their respective mirroring in the theories of art. The exposure of the materiality of the body, the penetration of virtual bodies into visual arts, the transmutations of human bodies into forms of aesthetic representation, mortification of the flesh and displaying the nudes as art objects devoided of their corporeal relevance are signs of this transformation. All these “conversions” of the body are seen in their relationship to the changes in the society of the spectacle, as Debord defined it. The author suggests that we are witnessing a change of aesthetic regime, one that, by using the human body for a multitude of representations, loses the reference power of the bodies themselves, by an inflation of representations, lead the forces of desire and imagination.

Keywords: body representation, de-corporealisation, aesthetics, simulacra, post-humanism