Relationship Between The Body And The City 's Building Essay

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The symposium then explored the relationship between the body and the city’s building in more depth with Adam Greenhalgh’s paper Body/Building: New York City around 1910. The associate curator of the National Gallery of Art in Washington presented once more Manhattan as a living body, and his interpretation of Excavations at night as an autopsy of the city conveys a powerful image of the city being exposed and vulnerable like Miss Bentham. Mr Greenhalgh confessed that he tends to see the grim side of Bellows, therefore his interpretation of his paintings does have a darker interpretation as he desires to seek for a deeper and darker meaning than just the simple representation of a reality. His analysis of Kids, River Rats and Forty-two Kids is a good example of the city seen as a living body; the children depicted in these works belong to the immigrant working class and have been described by contemporaries as insects, germs, vermin, spider limbs and maggots like creatures, or even worse diseases that invade and contaminate the body of the city. Arguably the water in which the children dive may symbolise the willingness to ‘clean’ the dirty bodies of the immigrants as per to wash away the germs and pest from the city. Mr Greenhalgh reports this as Bellows’ contemporaries view of the paintings, however his paper did not either disagree with this reading or agree so leaving open room for comments and discussion on the matter, which can also raise the potential discussion on…

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