The Royal Academy is filled with bodies: pliable bodies, sexy bodies, fused bodies, suffering bodies, languorous bodies and pleasuring bodies. Among them are martyrs, lovers, the great, the good and the damned. Iconic bodies that kiss and think; others standing still and walking. Bodies dancing, crouching, wanking, exposing themselves to our gaze; bodies that seem to look back and turn away as we circle them. What all these bodies are doing, most of all, is being. And being with them, in these tremendously animated and peopled rooms, where the Royal Academy’s Rodin exhibition opens on Saturday, is itself a complex pleasure. We, too, are bodies among these bronze, plaster, marble and terracotta others. Walking among these entire and fragmentary beings, I think about what it is to be flesh and blood.
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