empathy

Is Any Body There?

Down a cobbled, tree lined street the Georg-Kolbe Museum is a little known temple of the body based around the namesake’s creative works with the human form. The museum’s latest exhibition, “Body without Body”, offers a refreshingly new view of the body in art and society, whilst exploring Jewish identity. It took me a while to realise I was in the exhibition, mainly because it was not clearly signposted but also because there were no bodies!

Human traces

As well as triggering your sweet tooth, Danny Yahav-Brown's nibbled chocolate bar ("My Angel") gave me the feeling that someone was there before me – a human body. Although you cannot touch the body, you feel its presence. But whose? This theme is continued in Ariel Reichman’s “I am not here”, whose ironic words on a single piece of paper on the floor recall an Invisible Man. Like the mysterious chocoholic, this could be anyone and therefore represents everyone, uniting people through absence of physical being. Our understanding of the body thus changes from the traditional visual form we perceive to the conceptual. 

How much for the nipple kipa? 

Down a squeaky staircase an array of everyday objects used by the body come are transformed: belts, hair clips, forks and kipas. Yet the “Drei Kippas” by Gil Yefman, two adorned with nipples and one with an eye, are not exactly everyday objects – you would look like a bit of a tit if you wore that to the synagogue!