The Unstable Body

Galata Greek Primary School
Ayesha S. Ghosh, Jarrett D. Ley, Miranda J. Shugars. Display: Andres Jaque and the Office for Political Innovation


“The human is never simply human. It is never clear where the human begins and ends. …each individual human body is unique and never stable. The body is defined by diversity, fluidity and continuous transformation. Yet this diversity is continuously subjected to multiple cultural disciplines that attempt to normalize bodies into stable codes of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality, globality, prosperity, subservience, and speed — even to establish certain bodies as invisible or disposable, or simply not human. These are design codes. Bodies are artifacts, designed products… This continuously reconstructed body is not just the contemporary western body in its increasingly globalized form, a consumer product whose design has to be frequently updated. Each ancient culture was defined by traditions of body modification. Culture starts with redesigning of the body.” –B+M


The Unstable Body is a multi-part project that examines the multiple ways in which the human body is altered, modified, augmented, redesigned. Some of the topics explored include: the human microbiome, prosthetics, organ replacement, implants, plastic surgery, drugs, hormonal therapy and gene therapy. The Unstable Body is one of the six curatorial interventions developed by the Curatorial Team with a joint team of students from Columbia and Princeton Universities during the summer of 2016.