Date of Award

2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

School

School of Communications and Arts

Faculty

Faculty of Education and Arts

First Advisor

Dr Danielle Brady

Second Advisor

Justine Mcknight

Abstract

This research emerged from a rejection of the corporeal body as a clean, sterile entity that can be neatly contained by the boundaries of skin. Informed by Lacan’s (1977, 1979) notions of the body and desire and Kristeva’s (1982) perspectives on the abject, I have developed a concept of the unfixed status of the body as an in-between condition. This investigation of the in-between condition of the body critically explores notions of the corporeal body as constructed physically, psychically and symbolically through my creative arts praxis concerning the body, garment, object and performance. This exegesis unveils the potential for a reflexive and critical investigation of the in-between condition through a blurring of garment and the body. This blurring reveals the undefined margins of the body that simultaneously manifest desire and repulsion for the viewer and wearer (viewed). This critical inquiry, carried out through the merging of theory and practice in my creative arts praxis, forms the reflexive methodology that demonstrates the body is in a constant state of change and is an unstable concept. The in-between condition demonstrates the body as penetrable, fluid and ambiguous. The unfixed parameters of the body are both disturbing and enticing and have been explored through the accumulative exhibitions undertaken throughout my candidature; Fashion[ing] forms (2014), Becomings (2014), Progress (2013), The in-between: An inquiry of the body. The final exhibition of my candidature, Peel, Fondle, Ogle in February 2015 explored the potential for the gaze of both the viewer and the viewed (Lacan, 1979) to physically and emotionally generate a response to the in-between condition of the body. Experimentation of gaze within this research extends the notion of the body’s uncontainable status due its in-between condition. It further reveals how relationships to and of the body are formed individually and collectively through viewer encounters.

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