Peter Stohler | Claudia Pantellini (Hg.) BODY EXTENSIONS
Peter Stohler | Claudia Pantellini (Hg.)


art, photography, film, comic, fashion
192 pages
17 x 25 cm, 123 illustrations in colour and black-and-white. Hardcover.
German / French
ISBN: 978-3-89790-204-6


Artistic and cultural phenomena reveal that the desire to extend and ‘perfect’ the body is one of the most widespread human obsessions. Always dissatisfied with what nature has endowed us, we regard ourselves as ‘deficient beings’ (Sigmund Freud). Body extension can be achieved by artificially lengthening parts of the body – as exemplified in 1970s Performance art (Rebecca Horn) – or by transforming the entire silhouette – as done in 1980s fashions (Vivienne Westwood, Jean-Paul Gaultier). Body extensions are encountered in films and comics in the supernatural powers of super heroes (Spider Man, X-Men) and in the technically perfected Cyborgs.

Even in everyday living the body is extended and enhanced – by means of hair-pieces, artificial fingernails, jewellery, the wearing of ‘high heels’, by bodybuilding or the enlargement of breast volume through silicone transplants. Even though interventions in nature of this kind have become socially acceptable, taboos remain such as erotic fantasizing bound up with fetishism related to parts of the body.

Boasting sumptuous illustrations in large formats, the present publication is illuminating on the great variety of ways in which body extension occurs in art, photography, the cinema, comics, fashion and the culture of everyday living. Distinguished specialists seek approaches to studying the persistent striving for physical perfection.

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