Nomads + Residents

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Body-Memory, Nakedness, Body Politic
April 5, 2000
PS1 Contemporary Art Center
495 Broadway, 3rd floor, New York

With Pia Lindman and Stephan Wright

Pia Lindman is an artist from Finland living in New York. Her art work often takes the form of architecture and/or performance involving social interaction: She has recently constructed a functioning sauna for the "Greater New York" exhibition at PS1. In her words "In Finland (...) bathing naked in a sauna is understood as a 'real encounter - human to human' without the social and hierarchical symbols that define the body. The weekly ritual of sauna that Finns practice through their whole life, inscribes into the sensing self an experience and understanding of one's own body as well as everybody else's bodies that allows simultaneous respect and intimacy between people".

Stephen Wright is a writer and curator based in Paris, and an editor for the magazine Parachute. His next project "L'incurable mémoire des corps", is a group show that will take place in the former "Hòpital des Incurables Charles-Foix" in the Parisian region. "From its earliest age the body is 'civilized', incorporated into a body politic: it is taught to stand upright, to walk, wave and interact within the norms of a given culture, nation and religion. If only we knew how to look, the body's loyalty to its past and to the political realms of its history could be seen faintly echoed in every gesture. Hardly there at all, such embodied memory is indeed hardened within the deepest recesses of the self. Situated 'north' of consciousness, such bodily memory is shed only with great effort, unlike the verbal cant about one's national belonging" After the presentations and the discussion, the audience will be offered an opportunity to bathe in Pia Lindman's sauna.