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The body part in contemporary sculpture: A thematic consideration of fragmentation during the 1990s

Hutchinson, K; (2007) The body part in contemporary sculpture: A thematic consideration of fragmentation during the 1990s. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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The thesis identifies sculptures of body parts as a significant, yet under discussed, trend in sculpture production during the 1990s By looking closely at key artworks by British, American and Canadian artists, the thesis interweaves the thematic threads of portraiture, materiality, the technique of casting from the body, viewer interactions, body memory, depictions of skin, fragmentations of subjectivity and selfhood, reconsiderations of artistic traditions and the fragment as a means of accessing history. The thesis focuses upon the ways in which feminisms, reconsiderations of phenomenology and scientific and technological developments have shaped changing perceptions of the body. I argue that sculptures of the fragmented body assert the crucial role played by bodies in the lived experiences of individual subjects. Chapter one examines Janine Antoni's Lick and Lather (1993) and Christine Borland's L 'Homme Double (1997). Through the use of unusual materials, subjects and viewer interactions, the conventions of the portrait bust as a commemorative object are re-conceptualised. In chapter two, Sarah Lucas's sculptures created from casts of her own body will be discussed in relation to the aggressive gesture and female masculinity. In Chapter three, the theoretical concepts of "traumatic body memory", the "Skin Ego" and "haptic visuality" will be utilised as tools to consider the fragmentation of the skin in videos and sculptures by Mona Hatoum. Chapter four examines the relationship between Gober's sculptures of disembodied legs and the notion of "the phantom limb", gay male sexuality and body memory. Chapter five examines the sculptures of heads and skulls in Borland's The Dead Teach the Living and English Family China. In these two installations, the fragment functions as an access point to troubling historical moments when subjects were rendered less than human: the slave trade in Liverpool, England and the study of Nazi eugenics in Minister Germany.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The body part in contemporary sculpture: A thematic consideration of fragmentation during the 1990s
Identifier: PQ ETD:592919
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest. Images identifying individuals have been partially redacted to protect their identity.
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1445595
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