The Thessaloniki Performance Festival of the 7th Biennale of Contemporary Art is paying tribute to Stelarc, an artist whose work represents a ceaseless exploration dedicated to redefining the human body and its alternative abilities, through robotics, prosthetics, the Internet and biotechnology. Born in Cyprus (Nicosia, 1946), Stelarc (Stelios Arcadiou) moved to Australia, where he focused on the biological form and the concept of corporal extensions that go beyond the body’s natural limits. His well-known motto “the body is obsolete” refers to a conception that perceives the body as an imperfect and dysfunctional construction, which is therefore in need of adjustment and reconfiguration; it also underlines that the body can no longer cope with the requirements of the current, constantly evolving technological environment, and that we should consequently explore its uncharted, adaptive capabilities.
For more than four decades, the artist has been renowned for his radical artistic stance, his innate uniqueness and the novel way in which he pursues the production of new interpretations as to the evolution of the human species, and the possible reconsideration of our perception of the human body; the latter is transient, suspended amidst conditions, and can also function as an interface for various technological systems. His work corresponds and fully interacts and relates to the developments in biotechnology, genetics, and an array of new scientific explorations and experimentations, which have been steadily advancing over the last decades, validating their increasing and imperative significance in the historical milieu of the 21st century, essentially leading to an inexorable development, that of the posthuman condition.
MOMus-Museum of Contemporary Art-Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art and State Museum of Contemporary Art Collections