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Title: Breaching bodily boundaries : transgressive embodiment and gender queering in contemporary performance art
Author: Riszko, Leila Nicole
ISNI:       0000 0004 6353 0324
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis asks: how have recent changes in body politics impacted on the themes and ideas explored in contemporary body-based performance? What aesthetic and formal strategies do artists use to attempt to challenge sedimented norms, hegemonies, and power structures related to gender and the body? Contributing to an emerging field of contemporary research which takes a queer, transfeminist methodological approach to disrupting conventional ways of seeing and thinking sex, gender, and other constructions of the body, this study centers on contemporary practices which utilise the performing body as a ground for negotiating social prescriptions, and nurturing new, alternative forms of embodiment. This thesis undertakes the first detailed academic study of the performance practice of three under-researched artists: Mouse, Cassils, and boychild. Via close analysis of these case study examples it theorises specific deployments of the transgressive body in performance and argues that these bodies challenge assumptions of normative subjectivity through different strategies of queer intervention and subversion. Mouse exploits the disruptive potentiality in abject, grotesque, and parodic strategies; Cassils manipulates the binary structure of the heterosexual hegemony by queering the material form of her/his own body; and boychild’s queer, black embodiment extends beyond sci-fi inspired, cyborgian aesthetics, toward a plotting of posthuman, afrofuturist politics. Whilst each case study artist poses a challenge to bodily (hetero)normativity, each works in a different style or form to the next, using different aesthetics and appropriating from a range of ‘low’ or popular (sub)cultures. Consequently, the analyses in this study are formulated using a methodology which interweaves transdisciplinary ‘high’ theory approaches with non-academic literature on popular and/or subcultural forms. This thesis therefore makes contributions to knowledge primarily within the fields of body art and performance studies, but also within (trans)gender and (trans)feminist studies, queer theory, critical race theory and cultural studies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: N Visual arts (General) ; NX Arts in general