Some kind of beautiful : the grotesque body in contemporary art

Cross, David Anthony (2006) Some kind of beautiful : the grotesque body in contemporary art. PhD by Creative Works, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

This thesis investigates, through a body of interdisciplinary artwork, the representation of the grotesque body. It examines how it might be possible to manipulate the iconography of attraction and repulsion in contemporary art with the aim of confusing the binary opposition of what signifies pleasure and disgust. Each of the three artworks function to draw the audience into a powerful and affective relationship with representations that are simultaneously appealing and revolting. Using a number of modes and techniques to disrupt the dyad, including audience interaction and the use of seductive visual forms, the work focuses on my body as a site for the development of new knowledge about the representation of the non-preferred body. By bringing together otherwise unrelated discourses such as horror and formalist abstract painting, the artwork in this study attempts to call into doubt received wisdom about the nature of beauty and ugliness. There are a lexicon of different artistic mediums explored in this project including performance, installation, video and photography. The engagement with these disciplines represents an attempt to speculate on how we know and experience the body in an increasingly mediatised world. This research is also a key means of highlighting how our understanding of the body is informed by the differing effects of timebased, photographic and performative media. By creating a series of dialogues between the live and the virtual, timebased and static imagery, and the fragmentary body and its relationship to the holistic body, this project seeks to activate in the viewer/participant, a critical self-reflexivity. I ask how it is possible to know and experience corporeality in a virtual world of digitally manipulated bodies.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 16277
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD by Creative Works)
Supervisor: Pennings, Mark & Barker, Jill
Additional Information: Recipient of 2006 Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award
Keywords: grotesque, contemporary art, fragmentary body, beauty and ugliness, ODTA
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Department: Faculty of Creative Industries
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright David Anthony Cross
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 03:59
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2013 07:52

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