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Title: Glittering orientations : towards a non-figurative queer art practice
Author: Metherell, Lisa
ISNI:       0000 0004 5357 7401
Awarding Body: Birmingham City University
Current Institution: Birmingham City University
Date of Award: 2014
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Contemporary art practices that have most clearly been identified as ‘queer’ have tended to be figural representations of sexual bodies and sexual communities. This thesis argues that queer encounters with non-figurative art can occur through audience experiences of different modes of disorientation and uncertain re-orientation. The discussion presents and develops Sara Ahmed’s work on Queer Phenomenology (2006) and specifically investigates ideas of ‘orientation’, ‘disorientation’, ‘facing’ and ‘extension’ in art practice in order to theorise queer encounters with art. In doing so, the research develops an expanded notion of queer beyond lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans identities; not to exclude such identities but rather to add to existing queer art practices a further troubling of representation and bodily uncertainty that is focussed on experiencing art. The aims of this research are threefold: firstly, it is to investigate the value and limitations of representational ‘queer’ art. Secondly, it is to explore the possibility of creating queer art installations that do not contain overt representations of sexual bodies or sexual communities. The final aim is to examine how experiencing disorientating art practice might engender queer encounters. In the process of understanding experiential encounters the discussion critically explores the relationship between phenomenology and queer theory. The research aims are specifically explored through the making of five art installations. My first installation; Club Cave 27 was created with attention to stripping away overt representations of sexuality or sexual identity. The second and third installations Glitter and Scott Walker engage with troubling ideas of orientation and investigate the potentially queer materiality of glitter. The fourth show Desk Works was concerned with enacting disorientating encounters whilst the use of desks came about through my experience of feeling primarily orientated towards writing in a ‘practice-led’ Ph.D. My final installation queer:reading:room further enacts disorientating experiences through bodily uncertainty. Taken together, the five installations constitute a body of non-figurative queer art practice that is generated primarily through disorientating affects.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available