© Katharine Henshaw 2013
Maurice Merleau-Ponty, in Eye & Mind, lyrically links vision and painting as modes of embodying Being. He powerfully argues that humans are bodies (rather than minds in bodies, or minds and bodies) and that vision is the primary mode of our embodied engagement with the world. He suggests that in painting, the artist re-embodies in paint on canvas that which has been first embodied in the artist’s body though his or her sight. This paper suggests that an alternate art form, theater, provides a richer physical arena for the re-embodiment of Being. In live performance, actors, singers, and dancers offer their bodies as canvases, re-creating in voice, movement, time, and space the Being of the performed piece. These living re-creations are then embodied in the audience as they watch, in reciprocal emotion and physical sensation.
Editor's Note: Honorable Mention Paper, 17th Annual Pacific University Undergraduate Philosophy Conference (2013)
Henshaw, Katharine (2013) "Embodied Art: A Merleau-Pontian Improvisation of Being in Theater," Res Cogitans: Vol. 4: Iss. 1, Article 21. http://dx.doi.org/10.7710/2155-4838.1089