disobedient bodies

Ivonne Thein

2014 - Ongoing

When people meet in everyday life, they also perceive themselves as bodies. In our performance-oriented society, there is a growing tendency towards an objectification that encodes the body as an arbitrarily manipulable mass. We can do something with our body, shape it or manipulate it. Artificial body extensions (prostheses) have long since become socially acceptable, even if they serve only the purpose of self-expression or self-optimization. Aging or illness are considered as stigma and should be stopped or hidden as much as possible. In the work discobedient bodies I confront the viewer with photographic images of sick or old bodies and combine them with artificial body parts or aids for body optimization.

I see these photographs as an alternative to the hyperreal, perfect body images that we encounter every day in the mass media. Photography plays a major role in the distribution of idealized body images, as the flood of images floods the dream of a young, healthy and flawless body over and over again. Since I have experienced in a personal environment, how big the social taboo is, open to talk about a disease and in this context also about age or death, I have been dealing with this topic over several years again and again. I see the preoccupation with the body as a connecting element of all my artistic work.

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