Entangled Bodies: Art, Identity and Intercorporeality

Tammer El-Sheikh (Ed.)

by Ingrid Bachmann (Concordia University), Heather Ross (University of Toronto), Enza De Luca (University Health Network, Toronto), Margrit Shildrick (Stockholm University, Sweden), Susan Abbey (University of Toronto), Hannah Redler Hawes , Andrew Carnie (University of Southampton), Alexa Wright (University of Westminster), Dana Dal Bo (University of Southern California), Emily Jan (Concordia University), Jennifer Poole (Ryerson University), Tammer El-Sheikh (York University), Donna McCormack (University of Surrey)

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Organ transplantation is a medical innovation that has offered the potential to enhance and save lives since the first successful procedure in the 1950s. Subsequent developments in scientific knowledge and advances in surgical techniques have allowed for more efficient and refined procurement, minimal surgical complications, and increased success rate. However, procedures such as organ transplantation raise questions about the nature of our relationship with our own bodies; about our embodiment and personal and corporeal identity.

This book is comprised of academic essays, personal reflections, and creative writing from researchers and artists involved in an ongoing collaborative art-science project about the experience and culture of heart transplantation. The writings and reflections included discuss embodiment, what it means to inhabit a body and define oneself in relation to it, including struggles with identity formation; set in both clinical and private spaces.

The uniqueness of this volume consists in the authors’ aim of connecting the specific experience of heart transplantation to the more widely shared experience of relating to the world and one another through the body’s physical, perceived, and imagined boundaries. Such boundaries and the commonly held beliefs in personal autonomy that are associated with them are a subject of ongoing philosophical and scientific debate. What’s more, the resources of art and culture, including popular culture, literature, historical and contemporary art, are extremely useful in revising our views of what it means for the body’s boundaries to be philosophically ‘leaky.’

Following the discussion initiated by contributor Margrit Shildrick, this book contributes to the field of inquiry of the phenomenon of embodiment and inter-corporeality, the growing body of literature emerging from collaborative art-science research projects, and the wider area of disability studies. This book will be of particular interest to those with personal, scholarly, and creative interests in the experience of transplantation, or illness in general.

List of Figures

Tammer El-Sheikh

Part One: Travelling Concepts

Chapter 1
In the Beginning
Heather Ross

Chapter 2
Bodies in Need of Repair
Ingrid Bachmann

Chapter 3
Informed Consent: Curating Works-in-Progress
Hannah Redler Hawes

Part Two: Scenes of Hybridity

Chapter 4
Parallax: A Story in Two Parts
Alexa Wright

Chapter 5
Matters of the Heart: Temporality and Microchimeric Entanglements
Margrit Shildrick

Chapter 6
The Itch of Embodiment: Disability Aesthetics in Works by Chloë Lum and Yannick Desranleau, and Ingrid Bachmann
Tammer El-Sheikh

Part Three: Listening

Chapter 7
Changing Hearts
Susan Abbey

Chapter 8
Orpheus in the Underworld: A Fugue in Eight Parts
Emily Jan

Chapter 9
Everybody Has a Box
Dal Dal Bo

Part Four: Place, Space, and Location

Chapter 10
I Didn’t Expect to Be Gutted: Reflecting on 40+ Interviews
Enza De Luca

Chapter 11
A Change of Heart? Using Critical Race Theory to Revisit Our Visual Methodology
Jennifer Poole

Chapter 12
“‘Do you believe that space can give life, or take it away, that space has power?’: Space and Organ Transplantation in Contemporary Film”
Donna McCormack

Chapter 13
Where Does This Put Us? A Messy Place
Andrew Carnie


Tammer El-Sheikh is an Art Historian at York University in Toronto. His research and writing have centred on the topic of identity in the writing of art history and in contemporary art. His doctoral research focused on Palestinian-American critic Edward Said’s contribution to the field of Art History, specifically to that part of the discipline that deals with colonial and postcolonial identities. His writing and scholarship have appeared in the journals ARTMargins and Arab Studies Journal, in the magazines Canadian Art, Parachute, ETC Magazine, C Magazine, in exhibition catalogues both within Canada and abroad, and online at the contemporary Canadian art website

From 2013-18 El-Sheikh taught undergraduate and graduate courses on Postcolonial Theory and Global Contemporary Art, The History and Practice of Art Criticism, Censorship and Popular Culture in North America and Beyond, Orientalism and Art, and Approaches to Research and Writing Between the Arts, Sciences and Humanities at Concordia University. He is currently an Assistant Professor within the Visual Art and History Department at York University. His work with the Hybrid Bodies group began while at Concordia University in 2015, with his writing on the work of Hybrid Bodies artists and researchers appearing in a catalogue published by their Faculty of Fine Arts in 2016.

intercorporeality, microchimerism, hybridity, entanglement, consent, transplant, cyborg, monster, organ, gift, disability, clinic, phenomenology, intersectionality, kinship

See also

Bibliographic Information

Book Title

Entangled Bodies: Art, Identity and Intercorporeality





Number of pages


Physical size

236mm x 160mm


9 B&W

Publication date

May 2021