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This paper examines a selection of the photographic works of Alexa Wright, which demonstrate a fascination with the monstrous. While commenting on the works dealing with disabled bodies or bodies displaying a pathology of some kind - and in which the pathological or genetic condition is reconfigured in such a way that it can no longer be abjectified - this paper is particularly interested in Wright's works dealing with recontextualised images of invasive surgery, as they appear to deploy the same processes seen in her works dealing with more obviously monstrous bodies into the heart of the normative body. The advantage of dealing with these works in particular, it is argued, is that this approach might bypass perceived dangers inherent in other important approaches such as that proposed by the work of, for example, Margrit Shildrick - ...
Normative conceptions of embodiment can operate only by fixing or essentialising the body’s necessarily processural (or existential) ontology. Given that traditional film-based photography and cinema are reliant on the arrestation of a process, a process of fixing analogous to that seen in the constitution of normative bodies, this paper suggests that it is not surprising that photography has long been considered a privileged realm for the presentation of idealised bodies. Some critics have of course problematised this primarily indexical role of the photographic image by showing how this is disrupted in avant-garde practices in both photography and the cinema. In this paper, what is suggested instead is that the rupture of indexicality in traditional cinema and photography was always already inscribed in the technological apparatus or...
The telescoping of time and shrinking of space are both effects of a modernist space that is made possible by the late Nineteenth Century’s new technologies such as the locomotive and the cinema. It is, then, no coincidence that the birth of cinema took place on the platform of a train station at La Ciotat in 1895, for since its inception, the cinema has been drawn to such spaces of modernity precisely because the transformation of human perception (or phenomenological space) that it renders possible is mirrored so closely by the reorganisation of physical space in the post-industrial urban sphere (or physical space). The confluence of the history of the cinema and that of the urban spaces of modernity has been examined at length by critics such as Benjamin and Kracauer; rather than expand upon this history, in this article I wil...
Cultural studies analyses have consistently viewed heavy and extreme metal as less culturally significant, less empowering for fans and less worthy of study than other major genres of popular music. Metal has been viewed as a reactionary and unproductive encounter with anger, aggression and alienation: a “nihilistic dreamboat to negation”. Underlying critics’ objections to metal is a discomfort about the genre’s apparent lack of commitment to progressive political values. In the cultural study of popular music, pleasures not easily understood in terms of ‘politics’ have been viewed with suspicion by a discipline seeking wider political agendas in all musical and subcultural practices. This thesis explores cultural studies’ marginalisation of metal by examining the critical literature on death metal, an ‘extreme’ variant of the genre t...
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