Art as a Tool for Social Awareness: The Intersection between Art, Ethics and Bio-Politics in the Work of Christine Borland

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Art as a Tool for Social Awareness: The Intersection between Art, Ethics and Bio-Politics in the Work of Christine Borland

Samantha Ozer

My essay explores the intersection of art, ethics and bio-politics through the lens of the Scottish artist, Christine Borland. As the arts continue to evolve into a more multidisciplinary field, with many artists using non-traditional materials and examining political, social and scientific issues, collaboration has become a key element in the creative process. For Christine Borland, her joint ventures with non-art related institutions has been crucial to her practice and the assistance of experts in the medical field has allowed her to examine human identity and the body. Suspicious of medicine’s role in defining the body, the crux of her oeuvre is to use art as means to understand the world, a way to reinterpret scientific fact. Her work is the fusion of art and science— specifically art as a tool to confront ethical dilemmas and address social issues deep-rooted in scientific inquiry. I am particularly interested in Borland’s exploration of female identity and her efforts to ascribe the female body with a new sense of agency. Through an examination of key works I have been able to reflect on my own understanding of health, justice, legacy, social responsibility and art as a tool for awareness.

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