Lygia Clark: The Abandonment of Art, 1948–1988

Lygia Clark. _A casa é o corpo: penetração, ovulação, germinação, expulsão (The House is the Body)_. 1968

Lygia Clark. A casa é o corpo: penetração, ovulação, germinação, expulsão (The House is the Body). 1968

Mixed media
Variable dimensions
Courtesy Associação Cultural “O Mundo de Lygia Clark”

Glenn Lowry: The House is the Body was made by the Brazilian artist Lygia Clark in 1968. At this later point in her career, Clark was making participatory works requiring interaction among one or more viewers, and which dealt with our perception of our bodies and ourselves.

This is a recreation of Clark's installation. Curator Connie Butler:

Connie Butler: : The proper title of the work is The House is the Body: Penetration, ovulation, germination, and expulsion. She speaks about it in terms of abandonment of objects, but in fact, I think what we're confronted with here is a radical new form of art making.

The notion is really that the viewer is meant to enter the installation and undergo a specific process and series of physical experiences and then come out the other end expelled from the body of the sculpture or, in some ways, from the body itself. But also it's a structure of resistance and even again, thinking about the time in which it was made, a structure where the body undergoes some kind of repressive or oppressive situation out of which it emerges.

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