The body

	Yves Klein Portrait relief PR3 (portrait of Claude Pascal) 1962
  • 	Yves Klein Portrait relief PR3 (portrait of Claude Pascal) 1962
  • 	Rosslynd Piggott La somnambule 1996-97
  • 	Ugo Rondinone if there were anywhere but desert. wednesday 2000
  • 	Ron Mueck Untitled (old woman in bed) 2000-02

Questions and activities

  • Consider the scale of the human bodies in each of these artworks. Are any of them bigger or smaller than real life? What effect does their scale have on you? How would they differ if the artist had chosen to represent them life-size? How realistic are they and how does that influence your response to them?
  • Write a list of words and phrases to describe the body in each of these works. Explain how each artist has drawn our attention to different aspects of the human form and the human condition. What role does the body – or absence of the body – play?
  • Each of these artists, in a different way, uses the human body as a representational medium. What does this allow the artist to do that other art mediums do not? What are the possible drawbacks or limits of using the body in these ways?
  • Research the concept of performance art. How does it differ from the performing arts? Where does a work of performance art begin and end? Are photographs, film or video a record of the work or the work itself? Would you define any of the works listed here as performance art? If so, why?