This article details artist Phillip Warnell's use of the body as an elusive object of research, considering a range of artworks realized within an exploratory framework. It examines how, through an interrogative consideration of the body as both place and subject, hidden biological, chemical and psychological transformations are revealed. The artist uses various strategies of mediation to inform this process, including live, recorded and research-driven forms of performance, and the exploration of mutuality, contestation and exchange between the singular and social body, culminating in the exposure of intimate distances. Through metonym and material, the viewer's attention is directed towards conceptual, visual and historical links between the celestial, organic and cellular corpus.

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