Bodies of Knowledge – Anatomy and Transparency in Contemporary Art

Silvia Di Marco



Since the 1990s, the growing expansion of a vast array of medical technologies for the visualization of the inner body seems to have revamped, in an improved version, the tradition of the anatomical theatre, fuelling not only the question of the relation between inner and outer body, public and private space, visible and invisible objects, but also the problem of the relation between art, science and knowledge. The objective of this article is to shed some light on how contemporary artists engage with the very notion of “knowledge of the inner body” proper of the anatomical tradition. To this aim I briefly summarize some fundamental aspects of such tradition and subsequently examine the work of two artists, Laura Ferguson and Annie Cattrell, as examples of very different approaches to the meaning of the visualization and representation of the inner body in contemporary art.


Anatomy; Dissection; Human body; Inner body; Contemporary art; Transparency; Vision

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