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Title: Between fear and fascination : the horrific in women's contemporary video installation
Author: Keane, Jenny
ISNI:       0000 0004 2727 0027
Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2012
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The female body has historically been determined as the site of the frighteningly monstrous Other in phallocentric thought, and in terms of art practice the traditional female nude was represented as either pure or debased - yet through various modes of expanding and imploding the tropes of traditional horror films, some contemporary women artists have begun to investigate the fragmentation of the female body to evoke a new process of deciphering the dichotomous emotions of fear, disgust and desire. In a dialogical relationship between practice-based and written research, this thesis explores contemporary video installation case-studies in relation to early feminist art practices, lesbian representation, and psychoanalytical studies. The issues surrounding the classic cinematic representation of femininity cannot be avoided due to the cinematic conventions that have been assimilated into all moving image practice - thus to investigate the challenge of representing femininity, the concept of horror is examined through numerous sources, including film and literary theory, feminism, queer theory, and video art. While the discourse on horror films has been important, especially in relation to feminist theory, its recent connection to video installation has not been fully explored. I question whether video installation engenders a more direct and visceral response to horror due to its spatial and temporal interrelation, and posit that video installations can utilise visualisations of the horrific in an attempt to redefine the rigidity of binaries that are constructed in phallocentric culture. Through the thesis I propose that my practice, in relation to the work of the other artists examined, explores the liminal state of the body and employs a transgressive mode of spatio-temporality through video and video installation to engender new compelling ways of pushing the boundaries surrounding the fears and fascinations of sexual difference.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available