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Abject negotiations : the mutability of identification in selected artworks by Berni Searle

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dc.contributor.author Rennie, Christy
dc.date.accessioned 2012-07-30T09:03:00Z
dc.date.available 2012-07-30T09:03:00Z
dc.date.issued 2009
dc.identifier.citation Imagining Ourselves : Visual Identities in Representation, Johannesburg 5 June 2009 en_US
dc.identifier.isbn 978-0-620-45946-4
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/5309
dc.description.abstract In this paper I offer a reading of South African artist, Berni Searle's works About to forget (2005) and On either side (2005) in relation to French psychoanalyst and theorist, Julia Kristeva's conception of abjection. In examining Searle's use of the formal elements of tactility in representations of her own corporeality, I draw analogies between Searle's work and two Kristevian theories of heterogeneity, namely abjection and the semiotic (see Pollock 1998:9). I analyse a selection of Searle's work, focusing on her references to tactile, semiotically-driven elements in her open-ended negotiations of self-identification. Particular emphasis is placed on how she uses abjection to evoke an ambiguous sense of self-identification within a South African context. Within this context, Searle suggests the borders of self hood to be fluid in nature. This correlates with Kristeva's model of self hood, or the speaking subject, in which identity is never fixed and is seen as being always in continuous negotiation. In this model, the abject threat of dissolution of self may be contextualised within the state off lux inherent in the understand­ing of the speaking subject. Therefore, the threat towards one's identity is not so much nullified, but is rather no longer 'other' or separated from the understanding of self. Following Kristeva's (1991:1) thought, one may argue that the foreign 'other' and the selfare intimately conjoined. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre: en_US
dc.subject Art and identity en_US
dc.subject Abjection en_US
dc.subject Searle, Berni en_US
dc.subject Kristeva, Julia en_US
dc.title Abject negotiations : the mutability of identification in selected artworks by Berni Searle en_US
dc.type Article en_US

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