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Title: Trashy tendencies : indeterminate acts of refusal in contemporary art and performance practice
Author: Parry, Owen
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis explores trashy tendencies as creative and critical challenges to a reputable logics of cultural production. It outlines two approaches: the first considers a re-valorisation of trash through trashy aesthetics, antagonism and modes of knowing or ironic appreciation; the second considers art that renders trash precisely because we don’t have words to describe it, or don’t know how to value it. The latter in pushing at the limits of representation often gets relegated to the status of “shit”. This is precisely what Twinkle, the protagonist of my video-performance I Wanna be in that Film, (2010) calls performance art. Through artistic and theoretical methods it asks two overarching questions: • Can trashy tendencies push beyond cultural binaries, or are they dependent upon, and remain caught within, the dualities of “high” and “low” art, “legitimate” and “illegitimate” culture? • And, how to stage, read, and write about trashy tendencies without recuperating them into institutional logic, or without producing an unsympathetic thesis? On calling forth the trashy, determined on the one hand as “low” or “cheap”, and on the other as something of indeterminate value, this thesis explores ways to push beyond the binaries, but also refuses to always line up with queer theories or complex concepts of becoming, which might strategise trash, eradicating its trashy affects. As such this thesis explores trash as a tactic, which incorporates and subverts trash aesthetics to offer something distinct from the oppositional strategies of trash cinema and political art, but also something different to conceptual strategy, non‐ representational art, or relational aesthetics. It argues that by paying attention to trashy tendencies (personal and impersonal) the very vital ethical, epistemological and ontological questions of art, performance and criticism are brought to the fore. Employing my art practice as a site of inquiry, it also makes use of a rigorous theoretical framework and archive of artistic and critical practices to provide focus and context for this project in the field of art history and performance studies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available