Object Breast Cancer by the artist team, Caraballo-Farman is a fascinating idea for transforming not only the way we think about art, but also about how we think about art in relation to our bodies. For hundreds of years, nudes have been sculpted, painted, and sketched, and yet these representations do not capture what exists within the body, what threatens it from the inside. That’s why Object Breast Cancer is an original and eye-opening way of representing what exists within the body.
The purpose of Object Breast Cancer is to give expression to the physical tumor that exists when someone is diagnosed with breast cancer. So often cancer is discussed, size is debated, cells are examined, margins are cleared, and yet it is difficult to think of the actual physicality of cancer.
Through their work, Caraballo-Farman externalize and represent the actual tumor, reminding us that it is something that emerges from within ourselves.
Looking at the image below, it is difficult to see the strange and beautiful sculpture as a tumor, it blends art with science and makes us visualize internal aspects of our body that we normally won’t imagine.
Caraballo-Farman begin to re-define the way we think about our bodies, the cells within them, and what meaning these cells can carry. This artistic team has given expression to a terrifying truth and in the process made it into artwork that carries social weight and communicates personal associations.
Because the breast is a part of the body that can take on many different meanings, these works provide an angle that is overlooked within art and within society at large. It becomes evident that the breast is no longer a sensual object as often represented, nor is it associated with motherhood, but instead, this familiar aspect of femininity becomes threatening to a woman.
Through this project, we must begin to think about how the female body is represented in art, what meanings these representations carry, and how they are expressed. The art created by this team unpacks the dense layers of significance that are embedded within the notion of having breast cancer. The work also blurs the lines between the personal, the medical and the social aspects of having breast cancer.
If we think about art as having a purpose, then this project not only brings awareness to cancer, but more importantly, it draws the viewers attention to how it is understood, how is it experienced, and how it is removed from the body.
Because of this, Object Breast Cancer makes the viewer aware of internal reality of the body, which is far more dangerous than most would assume.
About the artists:
Caraballo-farman is a two-person team consisting of Abou Farman (Iran) and Leonor Caraballo (Argentina). They have exhibited in venues such as the Tate Modern, PS1/Moma and the Yerba Buena Center for The Arts and work in new media, video, photography, and installation. Object Breast Cancer is supported by a number of foundations and fellowships, namely the Guggenheim Foundation and New York Foundation for the Arts, residencies at Eyebeam Art and Technology Center, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
If you’re interested to know more about Object Breast Cancer, here is the link to their website: http://objectbreastcancer.tumblr.com/
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