BODY OF WORK
Body of Work, a conceptual series of self-portraits that explores the relationship between identity and the body, is the latest art project that visual artist Itamar Gilboa embarked upon.
The starting point of this project is the data Gilboa collected about his physical body using the most advanced medical imaging technologies – FMRI, MRI and CT scans. With this medical data, he created an installation of sculptural representations of his own body: a body of flesh and blood, an interplay of organs, bones and, more abstractly, his mind. It’s a kind of ultimate selfie, exploring inner and outer layers of the self, while also referencing modern medicine and mortality.
Body of Work, the presentation of his eponymous project, takes place in Museum Beelden aan Zee in June 2019. There, Gilboa will present his sculptural self-portrait in three series of works. First, a site- specific installation in which he presents himself to the audience. This installation comprises of an enclosed space, that is entered after undergoing the experience of a full body scan. After the ‘MRI scan’ is completed the visitor enters an enclosed space made of mirrors, producing endless reflections of the spectator and the presented objects. It plays with the concepts of inside and outside, of the inner and outer, of self and other. The reflections of the viewer in the mirrored installation and the abstracted body parts contribute to the feeling of being both spectator and object: It becomes difficult to distinguish who is actually being portrayed in the mirrored box.
In addition, Gilboa shows a series of works that portray his “creative thoughts”. In a series of FMRI scans, made in collaboration with several brain scientists, Gilboa’s brain activity was mapped while stimulated to think about this project and while creating art. This activity is translated into printable files that highlight the active part of the brain. The files will be 3D printed in order to create a series of conceptual sculptures that try to decipher the artist’s mind.
Although Gilboa makes use of the most advanced techniques available in medical sciences, this project is far more than an anatomical lesson. For Gilboa this conceptual artwork the exploration of the self and the meaning that it carries are dominant, rather than the sciences.