Currently reading : on the surface

on the surface

27 September 2011

Author : clement-delepine

In a conference given in 1966, Michel Foucault conceptualized the human body as the point zéro du monde, literally the starting point of the world. Quintessentially, from its lines or through its depth, a body lays out the universe and determines, even politically, one’s connection to his environment.

Although physical, as any frontier it is an agent of inclusion or banishment. Ultimately, a ravaged body sentences its owner to a form of social exile.

My friend Antoine Catala told me about a museum in Paris that somehow classified some of these exiles. It collects casts of skin diseases.

Located within the walls of the Hospital Saint-Louis, the Musée des maladies de peaux owns 4807 pieces predominantly manufactured by Jules Baretta between 1884 and 1913.

Michel Foucault, Le corps utopique, Radio feature: France Culture, 1966
French, no subtitles (sorry).

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