Body and Force

Human body and force is a subject which has been studied since centuries. The human like sculptures that we encountered in Greek culture during 7th century B.C., which were presented to us in a way trying to express force in the most beautiful way and male anatomy and female figures enveloped in cloth have been the subject of long researches.

The effects originated by the Renaissance canonized the human body once again in 14th century B.C., especially with the descriptions of Michelangelo and Raphael, “force” appeared once again and this time in an exaggerated way.

In brief, several and different opinions have been introduced until today about how a body that can reflect power should be.

The most interesting among these opinions, the one which is still researched and analyzed, is for sure the one that the inner structure of human is hosting a divine force.

The idea that human is a machine occupying a unique place in the very center of the universe, which started with Vitruvius idea, gained importance with Leonardo da Vinci and indoctrinated us with the idea that human body is the ultimate mechanism and example of the universe that can be reached.

Human body’s form was of an indispensable importance for Leonardo and thanks to him (as being the first person attempting a detailed study of human anatomy, unlike other artists), we had the opportunity to examine in a more detailed way this fabulous mechanism.

Maybe we can explain why human body structure was not given such an importance till then.

We know that ancient Greeks and Romans were being deeply interested with the internal functioning of human body as a whole, however we don’t know too much about corpses being studied in ancient times by cutting them into pieces. Cutting human corpses into pieces was morally unacceptable in the Middle Age and until the early times of Renaissance. There is no doubt that Leonardo da Vinci had benefited of this very limited knowledge and achievements about anatomy since ancient Greeks. After Leonardo, something remarkable happened in anatomy studies. A generation following his death, this subject started to be developed as a genuine intellectual enterprise.

After him, researchers made human anatomy examination a respected science branch. The most important of these researchers was Andreas Vesalius, however he would never go beyond Leonardo either by his skill or by his studies. Eventually drawings and writings of Leonardo on anatomy became more known in time. Instead of considering human body dissection as unacceptable, it became a part of scientific research. Accordingly, in time they became commonly accepted works of natural science along with new researches. After one century following Leonardo’s death, other artists represented dissection methods onto their paintings. This is Leonardo da Vinci who established that bound.

“Drawing is such a superior skill that; it is not contented with the artworks of nature, it searches forever for more than nature does.”

As a matter of fact, Leonardo was concerned with the nature, invisible aspect of human being as well as with its visible aspects, and there was nothing in nature that would not arouse his curiosity or stimulate his genius. According to him, the basis of art ought to be ceaseless research. Human being, animals, nature, the earth, the universe and the balance, order, harmonious parallelism among them were the subject matters of this research. He was capable to view science with the point of view of an artist and was capable to envision the art with the mindset of a scientist. During thirty five years which had passed with scientific researches, he learnt science and its contribution to him as an artist more than his contemporary fellows could do. He skillfully represented that knowledge to the future within the structure of Art-Science.

For Leonardo who said “It’s quite easy for humans to reach the universalism.”  It was possible to reach the universalism by establishing the bound between macro and micro universe.

Comparing human body with the “earth body” and emphasizing their similarities was for sure a very useful formula for Leonardo in knowing the universe and searching questions to his questions. These anatomic examinations which were started by Leonardo da Vinci, pointed out for us the importance of the structural force within us. And this force is in us. We do possess a fabulous and incredible mechanism which can be noticed only by an attentive and researcher eye and soul. Human organism is a structural integrity which is organized hierarchically and this hierarchical organization is arranged to form cells by several molecules, tissues by several cells, organs by several tissues, a system by several organs and the organism by several systems. In brief, our body is a mechanism which is consisted of the group of cells-tissues-organs- system. Each cell, tissue, organ have their separate tasks and there is a cooperation and solidarity among them. Therefore it will be a mistake to say for an organ that it is more important than the other or than the whole. Indeed, survival of human beings depends not on the individual functions of human parts which are isolated from each other, but on their integral functioning. Many artists and scientists who were focused on examining human structure and who were interested in the science of anatomy, carried out their work in this domain. By getting rid of their concerns of depicturing and recognizing the external image of the human body alone, they have approached the subject in time with the feeling of focusing on the inside. And by doing so, they have played an important role in carrying art and science to the eternity.

So what about the skeleton and the bones which compose it, playing a very important role and which is maybe the most important one in carrying the body? There is a lot to tell about them.

To tell about the place and importance of bones in the human body, we need to know about the features of the bone-articulation system and bone structure of our body.

Thanks to the skeleton and bones, human beings who can perform very different movements comfortably and speedily, will experience numerous features and incredible benefits of the bones which are considered to be the structural support system of their body.

Let’s not forget that without the bone-articulation system which compose the general structure of human body, human beings would be dispersed like a jelly fish and this structure is protecting vital organs such as the brain, heart and liver and it keeps them together, without being dispersed.… Generally, organs are developed as per the bone structure. For example, in human beings with bone structure defects, organs change their shape to fit that defect.

Without our bone-articulation system, which is the main support of our movements, our muscle contractions would never turn into a movement.

The bone system (skeleton) is responsible of the production of blood in the body. They enable the blood to be produced in the bone marrow.

The bone system acts as ceaseless calcium storage for human body. Calcium exchange is also performed by bones.

The storage and exchange of Calcium which is one of the main ions of the electrical system that provides all the communication in our body, is also provided by the bones… and the decrease or increase of the calcium levels in our blood system can end our lives.

Yes, we have to emphasize that their importance in the human body is not limited with the above cited ones. And for this, it would be best to return to the cell-human-universe relation, based on Leonardo da Vinci’s thinking. When we examine human body skeleton which consists of 206 bones, we notice that how perfectly they function no  matter the smallest or the biggest ones, how they do help each other, in brief how they create the balance-order and harmony among them and also integrally. Just like in the whole organism, from the smallest to the biggest one. When we examine the lateral section of bone tissue under microscope, we are surprised by what we see. We do notice reflection of several elements of the nature. It’s when we believe once again that we are pursuing the correct research.

During the process of this research, we notice another parallelism, which is time, being extremely important for bones… Because bones are evolving over time. They undergo changes before birth – during life  and after death. However besides this, they display a feature which resists time (for centuries)… We learn many findings about human life from bones.

Time –human – life -human – nature –human …….

It goes on this way, for each aspect contains the other and they have no end, they are infinite, they are not interminable. Just as the nature is a part of human and human is a part of the nature.

To notice this, one has to focus on human being. To regard, to observe … but most importantly to know how to regard from outside. Like I do and with the precision of an artist. Regarding from outside is the first step of entering. It raises curiosity and curiosity pushes human to research.

Considering every detail of the naked body (nude), which has been drawn hundreds of times, maybe a thousand times, and transforming them into lines, shades and colors creates a great excitement for human,  and after a while human focuses on new searches to enhance his or her composition.  The location gets help from living nature. How well the two (human and location) go in harmony…. In the meantime, the artist who has shifted hundreds of times between the eye-brain-hand-paper/toile desires, to remain genuine, some changes in HUMAN which may be his or her subject once more. Using abstractions by geometrizing the figures may be performed several times previously (briefly very old) but it’s quite a new method for the one who performs it for the very first time. And this method pushes back human completely after a while. There, remains only the location. All supporting elements will be eliminated over time, they disappear and the location and locations are occupied by shape-lessness, motion-lessness, color-lessness.

Just there, (like the yearning for a very precious being I have lost) it is to search for the HUMAN again. Affected by the science of anatomy, drawings and researches about bones… interest in physiology and histology sciences following corpse studies.

During this period of time, I would realize in another way that the HUMAN is a wonderful being…

And that it contains the whole Nature inside

With the precision of an artist who knows that exploring HUMAN would take creation to the ultimate levels.

The privilege is to the bones in the story of this journey which started with bones.

Maybe the FİRST expression of the union of body and strength  

Maybe the LAST.

Lolita Asil

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