Fragmentary Excess: Body, Text, Receptacle


What can this plethora of sculpturally-rendered heads, feet, and torsos tell us about the human body in the ancient world? In their fragmentary states, these objects are materially and ideologically linked to the past, but they also reveal an excessive corporeal imaginary as we view them in the present.
Used in contexts such as religious dedications, funerary rituals, theatre productions, decorative arts, and philosophical metaphor, representations of the body held prominence of place in the ancient collective mind and the daily lives of individuals. Many of these concepts, stigmas, and narratives established a Western classical typology for representing the human body that persists into the modern era. Remaining today as fragments, however, these body parts have accumulated additional meanings as uncanny, talismanic, idealized, monstrous, surreal, fetishistic, legible, and experiential forms.



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