EmBodied is SciArt Center's latest virtual exhibition. Exploring what the body can reveal about the inner self, curator Marnie Benney spoke with participating artist Marie Munk:
Marnie Benney: In your view, does one's physicality reflect the soul, mind, or inner self? If so, how?
Marie Munk: I don't know if our bodies reflect our soul/mind, I just know that without our physicality our mind can’t express itself, or at least, I am not aware of how it might do so. For me this makes the relation between body and mind interesting, they are both trapped within each other. Our mind is capable of so much more than our body, because it does not have a physicality, and can therefore mediate itself in many different forms, but so far not without our body. Our minds have to ask the fingers to type the keyboard before we can twitter a thought of our mind to the whole world. I think it is very different how connected people feel that their physicality is to their mind/soul, but there is obviously some misbalance for many with all the problems we see with obesity/eating disorder and with those who find it hard to balance their virtual and physical lives.
MB: How have science and technology better informed us in our understanding of who and what we are?
MM: I read recently that robots/AI’s will help humans better understand who we are. This sounds really interesting. We sure know a lot more about our physicality and mentality with the research within science, but whether it is has made us better understand our self I am not sure. The more we know the more we question. Humans are clever because we wonder who and what we are. What happens the day we find out is at least as interesting.
MB: What do you aim to communicate to your audience through your art?
MM: The work I make reflect feelings I have. My aim is to make people feel something, to make them reflect and question something that I believe needs questioning or reflection. This sounds so serious, but I want people to notice the absurd in what we see as normal, perhaps mandatory. This is what is so interesting about people and society. We are all lost individuals that try to fit in to something bigger to feel safe, and weird patterns of behavior appear. I love the weirdest ones, they are the most interesting. With my art I wish to provoke people to reflect upon these patterns and the way they are forming, how they affect them and how they take part and wish to take part. In ‘Onesome’ and ‘Skin’ specifically I want to shine light on social patterns towards a disappearance of human physical interaction and provoke reflection of our now “normal” presence.
MB: What has been your greatest discovery through creating this type of work?
MM: That making art that people are physically interacting with adds a whole new level to the process, not only in terms of practicalities, but it can be really hard to predict people’s behavior. But the greatest discovery was definitely that having the audience physically interacting gives me as art artist really interesting things to work with, as I can communicate not only through the appearance and aesthetics of the artwork, but via actions and senses as well.
See Embodied on SciArt Center's website: http://www.sciartcenter.org/embodied.html