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Image description: Two patient identity bands are laid flat and horizontally across a white screen. Both bands have bold, black text in capital letters on them. Together the text reads ‘This is not a body’. The band on top is red, with ‘This is’ printed on it. The band on the bottom is green, with ‘Not a body’ printed on it.

NOT A BODY by Panteha Abareshi

  • Audio Description


Click here to watch NOT A BODY with audio description


Panteha Abareshi is a Los Angeles based artist, whose work is rooted in their existence as a body with sickle cell zero beta thalassemia, a genetic blood disorder that causes debilitating pain, and bodily deterioration that both increase with age. Being a chronically ill body has shaped their experience into one that is extremely, and highly isolating. The nuances of disability and chronic illness are lost on the average able-bodied individual, and the marginalisation, erasure, and violence that they have endured from it alone is devastating. In combination with their personal notions of gender, racial and sexual identity, they are fully immersed in otherness. With so little discussion surrounding this, and little to no exploration of these topics in contemporary work, they aim to push against that lack of representation. In their practice they are warping concrete, physical forms into highly disembodied abstractions. Through their work they aim to discuss the complexities of living within a body that is highly monitored, constantly examined, and made to feel like a specimen. Taking images that are recognisable as human forms, and reducing them to gestural forms is a juxtaposition of their own body’s objectification, and dissection.

Through Panteha Abareshi’s moving image work NOT A BODY, we are given insight into the depersonalised conditions of illnesses in a bureaucratic system.

Image caption: Still from NOT A BODY by Panteha Abareshi, 2021

Image caption: Still from NOT A BODY by Panteha Abareshi, 2021

Image description: A white outline of a skeleton on a black background. It lies stiffly and horizontally across the screen. Its head, torso, outstretched arms, hands with palms facing upwards are on the left of the screen. An extraordinarily long spine reaches across to meet pelvic bone on the right of the screen. The skeleton ends there.

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