The Body is a Big Place

The Body is a Big Place

Image: Peta Clancy and Helen Pynor, The Body is a Big Place
5-channel video projection, heart perfusion device, single video screen, soundscape by Gail Priest. Still from live pig heart performance, 21 Nov, 2011, Performance Space. Photo: Geordie Cargill

An exhibition of work by MADA’s Dr Peta Clancy and Helen Pynor.

The Body is a Big Place is an installation that explores the ambiguous thresholds between life and death, and speaks to the incredible system that is inside each of us. The human-sized heart perfusion device that stands at the centre of the installation has previously been used to reanimate a pair of pig hearts in a live performance, shown here on video as part of the installation.

A history of surgical attempts to better understand the human body is embedded in the fabric of The Old Operating Theatre. Within this context, The Body is a Big Place evokes medicine’s machine-like characterisation of the body, and invites you to consider the limits of life.

About the Artist: Helen Pynor
Helen Pynor is an artist whose practise explores philosophically and experientially precarious zones such as the life-death border. Her work is informed by in-depth residencies in scientific and clinical institutions, most recently at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden.

About the Artist: Peta Clancy
Peta Clancy is an artist whose recent work explores the themes of memorial, massacres, resistance and conflict in Australia. She was awarded the 2018 ‘Fostering Koorie Art and Culture, Koorie Heritage Trust Residency’ in Melbourne and is a descendant of the Bangerang people from Southeastern Australia. Pynor and Clancy’s collaborative work The Body is a Big Place has been exhibited widely internationally.