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Exhibition catalogue Qu'est-ce qu'un corps?

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Exhibition catalogue Qu'est-ce qu'un corps?

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What is a body?

I’ve a body that’s apparently really mine, and it’s what makes me me. I number it among my possessions and I claim to exercise full sovereignty over it. So I think I’m unique and independent. But that’s an illusion, because there is no human society in which one thinks that the body is any good on its own. All bodies are engendered, and not only by their fathers and mothers. It’s not made by the one that has it, but by others. It’s not thought of as a thing, not in New Guinea, any more than in Amazonia, East Africa or Europe. On the contrary, it has the particular form of its connection with otherness that constitutes the person. According to the anthropological point of view that is adopted here, this Other is, respectively, the other gender, the animal species, the dead and the divine (secularised, in the modern age, in the teleology of the living person). Yes, my body is the thing that reminds me that I find myself in a world that is peopled, for instance, with ancestors, divinities, enemies and other being of the opposite sex. Is my body really mine? It’s it that determines that I don’t belong to myself, that I don’t exist alone and that my destiny is to live in a social context.

Number of pages
224
Publishers
Flammarion, Musée du Quai Branly
Categories
Books, Exhibition Catalogues
Museum
Musée du quai Branly
Themes
History of Art
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