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EXHIBITION: BODY HEAT

North Sea Jazz Festival 2024

The interplay between the corporeal and the climatic, between motion and emotion, defines our experience of body heat. Anger, love, desire, fear, passion, stress and shame compose the symphony of our thermal existence, giving rise to a bodily response – in our blood, our skin, our hearts or our tears. The BODY HEAT exhibition showcases works by 12 visionary artists and designers, exploring the myriad ways our temperatures rise, regulate and react to the dynamics of a shifting environment. In a world that privileges reason and rationality, our bodies are sensuous and intuitive. We respond to beats, vibrations and other bodies: we sweat, we dance, we cry, we laugh.

 

 

"Can you feel it?/ Touching you/ Don’t you feel it?" asks Quincy Jones on his 1974 track Body Heat: a musical manifestation of human connection and passion. In moments of love, motion, desire and intense emotion, what ignites your body’s warmth? BODY HEAT features a selection of ‘thermal attractions’ to accompany visitors’ contemplations. Through photography, sculpture, installations, and multimedia works, the artists and designers examine the visceral and emotional aspects of body heat: they delve into physiological responses, the invisible forces that drive us, and the external expressions of our inner warmth. The exhibition presents body heat as more than just a biological phenomenon, but a powerful metaphor for connection, emotion, and identity.

 

 

In this exhibition, Dutch designer Bart Hess presents his famous Grotto of veiny latex skin-like stalactites and stalagmites, reflecting on intersections of the material and the spiritual. Four towering pillars, each five metres high, hang like skin – motionless yet alive. Canadian artist Mike Pelletier animates humanoid forms with digital motion, creating bodies that exist only in the virtual realm, whilst Pleun van Dijk explores the climactic heat where technology and the body converge in our most intimate, sensual dreams and shapes. Elsewhere, Aukje Dekker’s Life is a Ride translates a mind map into a performance by synchronised swimmers, exploring our deep connection with our inner selves – and investigating the intricate mechanics of collaboration with others.

 

 

More than a visual experience alone, this exhibition is an exploration of the essence of human connection. It invites fresh perspectives on what constitutes a unit of passion, a heartbeat, a moment of fervour. As you journey through BODY HEAT, you may come to see how warmth defines our shared humanity. French photographer Smith utilises thermo technology to highlight how our bodies radiate heat, crafting visual representations of our thermal presence that transcend physical and social distinctions. The thermal camera captures a shared biological warmth, a universal trait that connects all humans – regardless of gender, sexuality, class, race or religion.

Grotto, 2024 © Bart Hess (2).jpg
Still Video Aukje Dekker, Life is a Ride, 2023.jpg
Still Animation Mike Pelletier, Constraint Iterations .jpg
Photo, Thermal Camera, SMITH SPECTROGRAPHIES Galerie Christophe Gaillard_edited.jpg
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