Cajsa von Zeipel
Pro Anatomy is the first catalog of Swedish artist Cajsa von Zeipel’s work from 2007 to 2015. Divided into three parts, the book presents the artist’s obsession with her own body as it relates to her diverse practice, from her signature sculptures to her most recent work, 1:1, a project that represents a new direction for the artist in her engagement with the human form. Using a CAT scan of her body, von Zeipel 3D-printed a replica of her own skeleton, continuing her investigation into the body’s aesthetic—and scientific—complexities when it is stripped to muscle and bones. Whereas much of her work has dealt with the surface of the body, 1:1 cuts to the bone.
Featuring new essays by writers Andrew Durbin, Chris Ford, Stefanie Hessler, Sarah Nicole Prickett, and Lyndsy Welgos, Pro Anatomy also includes an introductory text by the artist as well as A-Z, a poetic script for a 2009 sound piece. In her introduction to the book, “Bad Sad Mad Glad,” the artist writes intimately about her practice, covering her range of interests, from installation work and classical sculpture to Tom of Finland and new media. “I have always fed on the border,” she writes, “where things are simultaneously appealing and scary—works that move from the attractive to the repulsive, grotesque, and studied.” Von Zeipel’s sculpture deals directly with the cosmetic and social discourses that influence how the body is imaged and actualized. In Pro Anatomy, she introduces the myth of Narcissus as integral to how she conceptualizes her practice. In doing so, von Zeipel presents her work as it relates—and responds—to the ways our bodies are idealized, altered, and presented in life and in media. Threading in images from a CAT scan of her body throughout the book, von Zeipel offers a new perspective in her continuing engagement with the human form. Pro Anatomy presents von Zeipel’s story—what Chris Ford writes is a “story of self and narcissism, techne, and courage, and audacity and hermeneutics and talent and heart and soul, deep intelligence, epistemology, too”—in a dynamic, comprehensive format.