Cover image of the review

Auto Body Works
  • Shelley McSpedden


14 Jul 2018
Arts Project Australia 16 Jun - 21 Jun 2018

I recently made a rather modest foray into the world of body augmentation. After ninety minutes of being subjected to intense buffering, sharp prods and eye-watering fumes, I emerged transformed; a once recalcitrant nail-biter revamped into someone just presentable enough for inclusion in my sister's bridal party. This alarmingly visceral experience rendered me particularly receptive to the thematic drive of Auto Body Works, a group exhibition guest curated by Patrice Sharkey, Director of West Space, which adopts the metaphor of the automotive mechanic's chop shop to reflect on the fallibility, malleability and extendibility of the human body. It's a timely theme, as we find ourselves in a historical moment in which the porousness of the human body has gained mainstream recognition. Just look to the widespread embrace of transgender celebrities such as Caitlyn Jenner, Laverne Cox and Andreja Pejić, along with the deluge of television shows dedicated to extreme body transformations, for evidence of this.

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