The Body Electric

The Body Electric

06 September–23 February 2020

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, USA | Website

YBCA presents the West Coast debut of The Body Electric, an expansive array of more than 70 works revealing the ways that technology changes our collective understanding of the body, everyday life, and sense of self.

Looking across the past 50 years, The Body Electric presents works by an intergenerational and international group of artists who have seized upon the screen as a place to rethink the body and identity. Featuring video, sculpture, photographs, virtual reality, and more, from over 45 artists and collectives, the exhibition places a particular emphasis on gender, sexuality, race, and class.

The Body Electric creates a family tree for a younger generation of artists, deepening our understanding of how artists have always been at the forefront of working with new technologies to explore perceptions of identity and the body. The exhibition is a crucial corrective in highlighting the many women and artists of color who have historically been overlooked in a field commonly understood as male-dominant.

From the inviting and familiar to the provocative and unsettling, the works in the exhibition move nimbly from the material world to the space of the screen and back again. The Body Electric highlights five themes—”Beyond the Frame,” “Performing for the Camera,” “Extending the Self,” “The Power of Images,” and “The Malleable Body”—to explore the real and the virtual, the organic and the artificial.