ILHAM x SAM Project: 'The Body Politic and the Body'

Various bodies populate this exhibition: individual and collective bodies, physical and absent ones, metaphorical and fleshly bodies. Due to its complex structure, the body is able to assume such diverse representation with ease. It is therefore not surprising that the body’s capacity for the symbolic includes its potential for political reference.

Presented at ILHAM Gallery in Kuala Lumpur, The Body Politic and the Body explores the many facets of contemporary art and its genealogies in Malaysia. Featuring artworks from SAM’s collection alongside new commissions, artwork adaptations and loans from Malaysian artists, the exhibition examines the socio-political body of contemporary society alongside the individual, subjective body. Like corporeal bodies, the parts make up the whole, and the whole is present in every part. Just as each member of a community is a part of the collective, a community, too, is both one body and many.