Catalogue & Exhibition Essay

What Can a Body Do?


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Bibliographic Reference

“What Can a Body Do?” What Can a Body Do? Haverford College, PA, USA, 2012

In his study Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza (1990), French philosopher Gilles Deleuze famously grapples with Spinoza’s question: “What can a body do?” This exhibition narrows Deleuze’s query then, asking “What can a disabled body do?” What does it mean to inscribe a contemporary work of art with experiences of disability? What shapes or forms can these inscriptions take? How, precisely, can perceptions of the disabled body be liberated from binary classifications such as “normal” versus “deviant” or “ability” versus “disability” that themselves delimit bodies and constrain action? What alternative frameworks can be employed by scholars, curators, and artists in order to determine a new fate for the often stigmatized disabled identity?


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What Can a Body Do?