The diasappearance of the body from the work of Sarah Lucas

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I recently visited a gallery in London, where works by Sarah Lucas are exhibited.

Sarah Lucas, Au naturel, 2008
Sarah Lucas, Au naturel, 2008

I have written about Sarah Lucas before, namely about her powerful metaphors of food, linking eggs, chickens, burgers to genitalia and body parts, recognizable or not.

Sarah Lucas, Penetralia, 2008
Sarah Lucas, Penetralia, 2008

What impressed me the most in the Sarah Lucas exhibition, is the disappearance of the body. Most of her recent works are about genitalia and body parts, twisted, deformed, or otherwise. But the body has disappeared, except in one of the exhibit rooms, where she presented some wall-size photographs of the lower half of male bodies ornated with artifacts.

Jake and Dinos Chapman, Fuckface
Jake and Dinos Chapman, Fuckface

This is quite interesting if you contrast it with the work of JAke and Dinos Chapman.  In @Fuckface@ we have not only a body, albeit a conflated one, but also faces. A merging of genitalia and the human face, accompanied by a rather sad rendition of the rest of the body. But in spite of its sorry state, the body is present.

Sarah Lucas, Nud Cycladic 10
Sarah Lucas, Nud Cycladic 10, 2010

This is not the case with Sarah Lucas. But it does not stop there. Her “Nud Cycladic” Series introduces renditions of body parts that cannot be called recognizable. They may trigger associational processes and as a result various other images, but immediately recognizable they are not.

Sarah Lucas, Pauline Bunny, 1997
Sarah Lucas, Pauline Bunny, 1997

I left the exhibition rather dazed and disoriented. I do not usually get exposed to this bombardment of genitalia and body parts floating about, or standing on their own on the floor, or hanging from the walls or the ceiling. My rescus came from the “Pauline Bunny”, Lucas’ of 1997. I recovered it from my archives and felt that I came back to some sense of regularity. What previously looked like a monster, became like a friend I had not seen for a long time.

Sarah Lucas in her studio
Sarah Lucas in her studio

Could it be that the body has not disappeared but is disappearing? And will eventually come back?