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BoK(s): Bodies of Knowledge


“Where are you left – in a text, in your body – when control breaks down?” Kathy AckerŸ

“I believe the best artists are touching on the cultural need for finding a space for the self.” Carolyn Christov-BakargievŸ

“BoK” is a common abbreviation for the phrase “body of knowledge.” To make the phrase plural, one most modify “bodies” – “knowledges” is not a word. The grammatical confines of American English categorize knowledge as a mass and uncountable noun. It is a unified whole that exceeds the physical contexts in which it is applied or ascertained. Our current geopolitical emphasis on information flow, technology and global capital lend tacit support to this de-materialized understanding. But what is left of the physical body that navigates time and space, and serves as the locus for knowledge formation? How do we make sense of the physical flesh that perceives, re-conceptualizes and propagates this supposedly universalized and de-materialized understanding of knowledge? The “BoK(s)” abbreviation leaves ambiguous whether the body, the knowledge, or both are plural.

This exhibition explores the body as a site where diverse and contradictory fragments of knowledge are both sutured together and torn a part. The body is a point of conjecture and conclusion rather than a purely passive substrate. In line with the statement above, how do these bodies and their artistic representations interact with other bodies? How does their physicality and spatial placement construct points of knowledge formation?

curated by Dominic Dongili