Bodies in Water

Paul D'Amato Girl in Rain – Chicago, 1991
Click images for larger view
On View Oct 06, 2017 - Mar 11, 2018
Exhibition Location: Foster Galleries

Foster Galleries

From the moment of inception, our bodies are immersed in water. Our connection to this essential element is primordial, as it is crucial for all forms of life. Instinctively we immerse ourselves in water for cleaning, relaxation, and entertainment. Yet, water is becoming scarcer in certain places and overwhelming in others.

Access to it, and protection from it, present some of the most pressing social and economic concerns today. The work in this exhibition, drawn from deCordova’s permanent collection, captures the many creative ways photographers have explored the human body in relation to water. Showing the physicality of the flesh and the fluidity of water, these images remind us both of the origins of life and our dependence on water for existence.

Artists in this exhibition include David Armstrong, Shimon Attie, Karl Baden, Stephan Brigidi, Paul D'Amato, Susan Derges, Chris Enos, Dore Gardner, Charles "Teenie" Harris, Russel Hart, David Hilliard, Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, Mary Mattingly, Arno Rafael Minkkinen, John O'Reilly, Melissa Ann Pinney, and Edward Weston.

Organized by Martina Tanga, Koch Curatorial Fellow.

Press Release

Congratulations to our Bodies in Water photography contest winners!

Thoreau's Flint: The Pond and the Farmer

Thursday, October 12, 6:30–8:30 pm
In conjunction with Bodies in Water, join world-renowned Thoreau scholar Jeffrey S. Cramer, Curator of Collections at The Walden Woods Project’s Thoreau Institute Library, to hear about the truths and myths around Henry David Thoreau’s other pond, deCordova’s neighboring Flint’s Pond. (Free admission)

Glass Becomes Water: Representing Water in Mosaics

Tuesdays, December 5 and December 19 (two-part workshop), 6:30–9 pm each day
Inspired by the exhibition Bodies in Water, join artist Emily Bhargava for this two-session intensive workshop to make a water-inspired mosaic. Techniques and short demonstrations will include glass cutting, glass on glass mosaic, contrasting warm and cool colors, suggesting water through the use of pebbles and shells, and incorporating mirror into mosaic.

Curator-led Tour: Bodies in Water

Saturday, December 9, 12 pm
Dive into the exhibition Bodies in Water with this curatorial tour led by Martina Tanga, Koch Curatorial Fellow. Together we will look at how photographers capture the human body interacting with water, and explore how some of these representations alert us to social and political implications of water.

Gallery Talk with Bodies in Water Artist Dore Gardner

Wednesday, February 7, 2 pm
Artist Dore Gardner will unpack her photograph El Charquito (The Sacred Pool) Espinazo, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, in the exhibition Bodies in Water and talk about the sacred properties of water for the Neuvo Leon people.

Rivers, Lakes, and Reservoirs: The History of Our Drinking Water in Boston

Thursday, March 1, 6 pm
Join Frederick Laskey, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (MWRA), for a lecture on the history of our drinking water in Massachusetts, from 17th century cisterns to 20th century innovative water engineering in the creation of the Quabbin reservoir. (Free admission)