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Commodified Bodies

Penny Lam

Sculpture (Acrylic, plywood, silicone, steel, wax) & digital design, 2022

Undergraduate
Commodified Bodies presents a world where the body becomes a central site of transaction at the height of Western capitalism and health care privatization. In this speculative future, organs and tissues of desperate vendors are priced based on each person’s body profile, through an online trading system. The purchased body parts are thereupon procured to be sold at retail stores with an elevated shopping experience, tailored to appeal to the members of the upper class. Through these visual imaginations brought to life by sculpture and digital design, my work queries how broader questions of power, ethics and personhood intertwine within the production of the body as an object of economic desire—bartered, displayed and visualized in alienable parts. It invites viewers to consider the realities of class hierarchies inherent in commodifying bodies.