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Title: The contagion of desire : two case studies of appropriation art
Author: Noonan-Ganley, Joseph
ISNI:       0000 0004 7430 5843
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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My doctoral thesis is comprised of two bodies of research: two artworks taking the form of installations (videos, audio recordings, textiles, texts), which will be exhibited for viva. Femme Fabrications, 2016, is made from research into the American artist Joseph Cornell's (1903-1972) source materials held in the Smithsonian American Art Museum alongside research on Jean Wilkinson's 1977 book Flower Fabrications. A series of textile works encased in silk lined boxes trace my step-by-step construction of a rose from organdie. The floral emblem of the white rose (dried), 'death is preferable to a loss of innocence' , becomes an editing device, which I use to consider a number of possible recipients for the rose, such as Cornell himself. Spoken word audio recordings, which ruminate on how his sexuality pertain to the criteria of the rose are edited together with home-camcorder video footage of the house that Cornell lived in for most of his life - the house he made the entirety of his artworks within. Central to The Cesspool of Rapture, 2017, are moving-image studies of zippers, stains, rips, abrasions, openings, and closings in a series of dresses made by the American couturier Charles James (1906-1978). These videos register and move through the material research, the garments, at alternating speeds. The changing speed is registered in sound by clicks synced to each individual frame. It is at times violent and at other times tentative and gentle as the uncovering of the damage to the dresses unfolds. Audio recordings of James explicating his interests in eroticism and sexuality persistently interject the footage. This work includes the installation of a series of reconstructions of James's 1932 Taxi dress. Its black linen body is reconfigured and abstracted as the splayed design makes unfinished seams and unzipped zippers visible. In each artwork I configure viewing and consuming as a mode of authorship. I show how these diverse processes of identification become authored acts. When drawn into intimate relation with the leftover material of these historical authors, my contamination proves deviant: I gain possession of the capacity to speak for them, to expose, idolise, misrepresent, and fictionalise them. My thesis is composed of this group of methodologies, which were found and developed within the production of the artworks.
Supervisor: Palmer, Katrina ; Price, Elizabeth Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Appropriation Art ; Zipper ; Art Writing ; Charles James ; Video Art ; Fiction ; Couture ; Installation Art ; Clothes ; Sexuality ; Voice ; Rose ; Joseph Cornell ; Desire