On the last pages of The Visible and the Invisible, Merleau-Ponty investigates “the bond between flesh and idea, and the internal armature which [it] manifests and which it conceals.” Flesh and idea are intertwined in that the body reflects on itself in the act of perception and, one could add, action. A correlative bond lies in communication theory as the operational difference between ego and alter-ego. This article investigates the non-semiotic intertwinement of ‘flesh’ in art perception and theory based on communication theory in performance art (body art). The thesis is that ‘flesh’ in performance art is presented as absolute presence, but flesh can only be perceived through a reflective bearing.

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