December 2, 2023 – January 27, 2024
[En anglais] In recent years, the idea that the body plays an active role in the manifestation of cognition, a notion sometimes referred to as embodied knowledge, has become popular among those who write or theorize about art. Proponents and antecedents of this somewhat broad notion—Bruno Latour, Donna Haraway, Alfred North Whitehead, Rudoph Steiner, and the godfather, Merleau-Ponty—have come to populate the bibliographies of many an artist’s graduate thesis. One has the sense, however, that this attractive notion does not run very deep in general practice as we go about our piteously Cartesian lives: working by the clock, measuring our steps with FitBits, and sitting in waiting rooms in clinics devoted to Western medicine. Mostly the notion calls to mind our weekly Pilates class or speaking to our plants as we water them.
Occasionally, however, something pops up to show us that there is something to the embodied knowledge concept that reveals our own bodies to us in ways we could not anticipate. Such a case is artist Richard Purdy’s new exhibition, Dental Alphabet, on view at Galerie Bellemare Lambert.