Cyborg Pieta

Pin Gallery in 798 is currently hosting Bad Exhibition. It is a fantastic exhibition and if you are in the area I suggest visiting.  To learn more about it look at this article from CAFA Art Info.   The work above is of particular interest to me.  Lee Yong Baek, a South Korean artist, created Pieta in 2008.  It is an installation made of FRP and iron plates.   It is incredibly striking measuring 400 x 240 x 320 centimeters (157 x 94 x 126 inches).  Last semester I revisited Donna Haraway’s Cyborg Manifesto.   In the manifesto she states that, ““[a] cyborg is a cybernetic organism, a hybrid of machine and organism, a creature or social reality as well as a creature of fiction” (Haraway 7).

I have appropriated the idea of a cyborg into a way to look at gender–pulling apart a body and reconstructing it.  All bodies are just a collection of parts.    Lee Yong Baek conceptually merges an archetypal symbol of Western art with this idea of the body as non-human.  A Pieta is usually Mary holding Jesus–a female holding a male.  I like to look at these figures as ambiguously gendered but they are most likely two males.

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