Anatomical Sense (ear) Anatomical Sense (tongue)

Bronwyn Platten ‘Anatomical Sense’ 2010-11

Anatomical Sense (2010-11) consists of a series of small paintings responding to anatomical models in the Anatomy Room of The Museo di Palazzo Poggi, University of Bologna.  Created by Anna Morandi (1714-74) and her husband Giovanni Manzolini (1700-55) these particular models represent the senses – touch, taste, sound, vision and smell.

In these paintings I set out to account for something of the philosophical and historical conundrum between the body as object to be gazed upon and understood scientifically alongside the spectre of human being - how it is to both be and have a body.

While these anatomical objects accurately and beautifully represent the sense organs of the internal body – looking at them does not convey to the viewer what it is like to experience that particular sensation. For example, when we experience a smell we do not immediately imagine the biological processes that allow us to have this perception. We are ‘taken’ by what the smell evokes or brings forth. There is a constant shifting that takes place within our bodily awareness through our sense experiences. Bringing such tacit knowledge of our bodies alongside critical understanding of embodiment is an important part of Mouths and Meaning


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