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The Aesthetics of Abjection and Dying

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Published on Apr 11, 2011

In this paper, I argue that the cultural memories of death and dying and their visceral imprints left by the nomadic artist inhabiting unstable geographic and historical spaces offer, in forms of residues and echoes, ways of sensing, feeling and thinking, that are alternative to prescriptive realities proposed by the representation economy. I begin by asking questions about the artistic objects as material documents. Can we take these material objects - a recording, a sculpture, and a written text, as multiplicity of perceptual moments in a process of becoming, rather than make them into solid entities - objects for scientific observation and study? Can we re-experience our own shared cultural past, through consciously entering the sites of personal horror, trauma, and memories of death? I assert that the art works analyzed: dance film of Valeska Gert, scultpure by Alberto Giacometti, and a short story by Danilo Kis, serve as poetic evidences, not only of the experiences and aesthetic choices of their authors, but also, of multiple readings, responses and reactions that the works have provoked in the past, and that were inscribed on the material surfaces we now encounter. The theoretical foci of the paper are abjection, aesthetic transformation of rejected otherness, performed failure, and repositioning of the marginal. The artistic and poetic excesses articulated through the unique acts of perception and translation into new artistic language, are revisioned as tools for critical analysis of the society. (By: Marija Krtolica, Independent Performer and Choreographer )

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