OPUS CORPUS: Anthropology of the Corporal Appearances
Opus: Opening corporal orifices connected to the body, you can penetrate into a well-experienced human body. Entering the Opus Corpus, the Mundus Corpus appears and the world is seen as a crowd of body topics, as a proliferation of body anthropological representations.
Corpus: Corpus Multimedia of Anthropology of the Corporal Appearances. The Opus Corpus visits all the body regions one after another. Opening new ways of seeing the body, the Opus Corpus is a clinic watcher of the visual and cultural body states, navigating into texts, sounds, and images inside this mysterious organ.
I have been working since 1996 with Anthropology of the Corporal Appearances , an interdisciplinary research methodology (Body Anthropology, Visual Anthropology and Arts Anthropology) which studies the social and cultural logics made visible by the human body. The human physical appearance, as a social mirror, always establishes and codifies meaningful relations between the visual, the cultural and the corporal. By studying a body image, by deconstructing a physical appearance, it is possible to reveal the social representations related to this great cultural device and show how interpretations of the human appearance vary historically, culturally, and contextually. I remembered the methodology of Gaston Bachelard: "we propose to highlight different types of imagination of the human body by the material element sign that inspires the traditional philosophies and the ancient cosmology. We believe that it is possible to retain, in the body imaginary kingdom, a four-element law that classifies several material imaginations where they are associated to the fire, air, water, and earth." To create the Opus Corpus web architecture, I have used this classification, giving birth to four human bodies. Four Bodies of knowledge ready to be penetrated by the public of the website, as an Anthropology for All sensual invitation.
Stéphane Malysse is a Multimedia Anthropologist, PhD in Social Anthropology at the E.H.E.SS (Paris). This website is the result and web-publication of his Post-Doctorate in Visual Arts, realised at the Federal University of Campinas, UNICAMP. He lives in São Paulo (Brazil) and teaches Art Theory, Fashion Theory and Anthropology of the Body at the Santa Marcelina University, FASM (SP).