Francis Alÿs, Brook Andrew, Del Kathryn Barton, Farida Batool, Vivienne Binns, Leigh Bowery, Destiny Deacon and Virginia Fraser, Christine Dean, Kelly Doley and Diana Baker Smith, Ella Dreyfus, Regina José Galindo, Amala Groom, Samuel Hodge, Geumhyung Jeong, Kate Just, Samson Kambalu, Deborah Kelly, Barbara Kruger, Radha La Bia, Pat Larter, Richard Larter, Leigh Ledare, Gary Lee, Lip, Teresa Margolles, Dani Marti, Chris Mason, Ebecho Muslimova, Eileen Myles and Jill Soloway, Rabbya Naseer and Hurmat Ul Ain, Tracey Rose, Patrick Staff, A.L. Steiner, Martine Syms, VNS Matrix, Gillian Wearing, David Wojnarowicz, William Yang, Women’s Domestic Needlework Group, Cao Yu

Curated by Talia Linz and Alexie Glass-Kantor

Visitors please note that this exhibition contains strong language, nudity
and explicit imagery.

Artspace advises that all minors should be accompanied by a supervising adult.


Exhibition dates
28 July – 2 October, 2017

Exhibition opening
with opening night and closing weekend performance White King, Brown Queen by Radha La Bia
Thursday 27 July, 6 – 8pm


Martine Syms, Lessons LXXV (video still), 2017, single-channel video. Courtesy the artist and Bridget Donahue, New York. © Martine Syms


THE PUBLIC BODY .02 is the second in a three-part speculation on one idea. Over three years THE PUBLIC BODY .01, .02 and .03 will explore various facets of the notion of the public body with three distinct yet interrelated exhibitions.


THE PUBLIC BODY .01 began at the closest and most intimate point: this vessel that we all occupy with its myriad physical and sexual selves. THE PUBLIC BODY .01 explored contemporary representations of the body and, in particular, the naked and/or sexualised body. The start was the surface — of the body, and of image circulation in the twenty-first century.


Extending on the previous iteration's exploration of contemporary representations of the body, THE PUBLIC BODY .02 delves deeper to highlight a range of practices embedded in feminist, queer and anti-racist subjectivities, and concerned with revisioning certain biased histories of representation. 


The final exhibition in 2018 turns to Artspace’s own identity as a type of public body, drawing on our multifaceted history and extensive archive to mark our 35th anniversary.





THE PUBLIC BODY .02 brings together the work of over forty artists and collectives from the 1970s to the present, integrating the archival and the contemporary to draw connections between works across decades.


From the deeply personal drawings of Vivienne Binns to the many personas of Leigh Bowery, the socially-charged practice of Regina Josè Galindo to Martine Syms’ current examination of the representation of blackness, THE PUBLIC BODY .02 addresses the individual and collective agency of the public body. 


Here bodies are displaced, contaminated, insatiable or narcoleptic; attempting to function within the constraints of the flesh and challenging its limits through a performative refrain. Bodies are both witnessed and witnessing. Some take refuge in the safety and power of distinct communities and networks, while others struggle to free themselves from the dictates of systems that reduce and subjugate.


The implications of familial, historical and cultural inheritance abound throughout, from Brook Andrew’s excavation of the dominant narratives of colonialism to Leigh Ledare’s complex relationships with his family members and with the performative aspects of identity.


THE PUBLIC BODY .02 includes artists from 14 countries including China, South Korea, Guatemala, Singapore, Pakistan, South Africa and Russia.