The Body of The Audience was initiated as bachelor thesis for the graduation at ArtScience Interfaculty, KABK-Koncon, The Hague, in 2013. The research became the stepping stone for the artist’s oeuvre. Through this work, Ludmila Rodrigues draws attention to the conditions and processes lived by the public when in contact with an artwork or performance. She takes a holistic approach, dealing with the sensual, psychological and social aspects involved in the artistic experience.
The work examines how contemporary art can engage with the audience in unusual ways, expanding the possibilities of communication into an all-embracing, embodied experience. The Body of the Audience also questions how exhibition settings have established a limited mode of appreciation that is mostly based on visual and intellectual presentation of artworks, restraining the public from a direct experience. Whereas the public is conditioned to a certain submission – kept at a safe distance – the white cube etiquete ultimately may cause the loss of connection and of meaning.
The role of empathy and the senses are deeply emphasized as essential processes in the encounter with art; for which both audiences, artists and art institutions at large should be actively concerned.