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Book review
The body and the arts
  1. P K Dakin
  1. Correspondence to Dr P K Dakin, Woodlands Medical Practice, 54 Leopold Road, London N2 8BG, UK; pdakin{at}

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Corinne Saunders, Ulrika Maude, Jane Macnaughton. Published by Palgrave Macmillan 2009 9780230552043

Anyone who saw the advertisements or handled the literature relating to the recent AMH conference in Durham will be familiar with the cover illustration of this volume. It is taken from Antony Gormley’s iconic Domain field (2003), an installation of 287 sculptures that filled an entire floor of the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. The bodies of volunteers aged from two to 85 were moulded in plaster and the casts then used to construct individual representations by welding steel elements within each mould. The end result appears as a field of metal fragments marking out the space normally contained within the skin of each person, and translates this series of three dimensional ‘singularities’ into an ‘energy field’ around and through which visitors may walk and engage. But this is not simply an instance of borrowing an eye-catching picture. The renowned sculptor is one of the panoply of excellent contributors. And indeed the illustration is a fitting representation of the contents within. It invites us to consider the human form in relation to its physical surroundings, and the book encourages an inspection of the body in the evolving context of history and culture.

The body and the arts is an arrangement …

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  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.