Matter'-ing' the Body Strategies of Resistance in Contemporary Art

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Title: Matter'-ing' the Body Strategies of Resistance in Contemporary Art
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Alamalhodaei, Aria
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2012
Publication Date: 2012


Subjects / Keywords: Foucault, Michael
Contemporary Art
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: This thesis identifies and formulates the concept of figurations as a new strategy of resistance in contemporary artistic practice. As imaginative subject positions, figurations are tools that challenge normative configurations of bodies outside of hegemonic frameworks of representation and postmodern cultural conditions. I use Michel Foucault's notions of power, domination, embodied subjectivity, and � perhaps most significantly � his ideas surrounding ethical practices of freedom in order to conceptualize their subversive potential. By re-imagining the oppressed body, figurations also produce a new mode of encountering and understanding the other. Thus they are useful tools for feminism as an emancipatory politics that seeks to incorporate radical understandings of difference. I expand upon the concept of figurations through a close reading of two contemporary artists: Felix Gonzalez-Torres, whose works deals heavily with the AIDS body, and Doris Salcedo, who critically challenges notions of the 'third-world.' By re-signifying the materiality of the artwork, these artists simultaneously re-signify the materiality of the body, producing new formulations of active resistance.
Statement of Responsibility: by Aria Alamalhodaei
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2012
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Hassold, Cris

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Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2012 A3
System ID: NCFE004527:00001

Permanent Link:

Material Information

Title: Matter'-ing' the Body Strategies of Resistance in Contemporary Art
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Alamalhodaei, Aria
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2012
Publication Date: 2012


Subjects / Keywords: Foucault, Michael
Contemporary Art
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: This thesis identifies and formulates the concept of figurations as a new strategy of resistance in contemporary artistic practice. As imaginative subject positions, figurations are tools that challenge normative configurations of bodies outside of hegemonic frameworks of representation and postmodern cultural conditions. I use Michel Foucault's notions of power, domination, embodied subjectivity, and � perhaps most significantly � his ideas surrounding ethical practices of freedom in order to conceptualize their subversive potential. By re-imagining the oppressed body, figurations also produce a new mode of encountering and understanding the other. Thus they are useful tools for feminism as an emancipatory politics that seeks to incorporate radical understandings of difference. I expand upon the concept of figurations through a close reading of two contemporary artists: Felix Gonzalez-Torres, whose works deals heavily with the AIDS body, and Doris Salcedo, who critically challenges notions of the 'third-world.' By re-signifying the materiality of the artwork, these artists simultaneously re-signify the materiality of the body, producing new formulations of active resistance.
Statement of Responsibility: by Aria Alamalhodaei
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2012
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Hassold, Cris

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2012 A3
System ID: NCFE004527:00001

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MATTER ING THE BODY: STRATEGIES OF RESISTANCE IN CONTEMPORARY ART BY ARIA ALAMALHODAEI A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Humanities New College of Florida in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts Under the Sponsorship of Cris Hassold Sarasota, Florida May, 2012


! ii This thesis is dedicated to Connie and Frank Miley Thank you for teaching me how to ice skate, cook the perfect egg, and love unconditionally.


! iii TABLE OF CONTENTS Dedicationii Table of Contents .iii List of Figures ..iv Abstract v Chapter One: Towards a New Theory Of Resistance ..1 Chapter Two: Pain and Proximity in Doris Salcedo's Sculptures ..27 Chapter Three : Felix Gonzalez Torres's Intimate Other 47 Conclusion ..68 Figures 70 Notes ...86 Works Cited94


! iv LIST OF FIGURES Fig. 1 Felix Gonzalez Torres, Untitled (Portrait of Ross in LA) 1991 Fig. 2 Kazimir Malevich, Suprematist Composition: White on White 1918 Fig. 3 J ackson Pollock, Lavender Mist 1950 Fig. 4 Doris Salcedo, La Casa Viuda IV [detail], 1994 Fig. 5 Doris Salcedo, La Casa Viuda II [detail], 1993 94 Fig. 6 Doris Salcedo, La Casa Viuda I 1992 94 Fig. 7 Doris Salcedo, La Casa Viuda I [detail], 1992 94 Fig. 8 Doris Salcedo, La Casa Viuda II 1993 94 Fig. 9 Doris Salcedo, La Casa Viuda III 1994 Fig. 10 NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt Ongoing Fig. 11 Felix Gonzalez T orres, Untitled (Lover Boys) 1991 Fig. 12 Felix Gonzalez Torres, Untitled (Perfect Lovers) 1991 Fig. 13 Felix Gonzalez Torres, Untitled 1991 Fig. 14 Felix Gonzalez Torres, Untitled 1991 Fig. 15 Felix Gonzalez Torres, Untitled (Passport) 1991 Fig. 16 Donald Judd, Untitled (Stacks) 1967


! v MATTER ING THE BODY: STRATEGIES OF RESISTANCE IN CONTEMPORARY ART Aria Alamalhodaei New College of Florida, 2012 ABSTRACT This thesis identifies and formulates the concept of figurations as a new strategy of resistance in contemporary artistic practice As imaginative subject positions figurations are tools that challenge normative configurations of bodies outside of hegemonic framework s of representation and postmodern cultural conditions I use Michel Foucault's notions of power, domination, embodied subjectivity, and perhaps most significantly his ideas surrounding ethical practices of freedom in order to conceptualize their subve rsive potential. By r e imagining the oppressed body figurations also produce a new mode of encountering and understanding the other. Thus they are useful tools for feminism as an emancipatory politics that seeks to incorporate radical understanding s of difference. I expand upon the concept of figurations t hrough a close reading of two contemporary artists: Felix Gonzalez Torres whose works deals heavily with the AIDS body, and Doris Salcedo, who critically challenges notions of the third world By re signifying the materiality of the artwork, these artists


! vi simultaneously re signi fy the mate riality of the body, producing new form ulation s of active resistance. Cris Hassold Art History


! vii From the idea that the self is not given to us, I think that there is only one practical consequence : we have to create ourselves as a work of art. Michel Foucault "On The Genealogy of Ethics: An Overview of Work in Progress" The we' of such a collective politics is what must be worked for, rather than being the foundation of our collective work. Sara Ahmed, "This Other and Other Others"


! 1 Chapter One: Towards a New Theory of Resistance This chapter is centered on identifying and formulating new strategies of resistance in contemporary art. I employ and extend Rosi Braidotti's concept of figurations fictional models that are useful for a critical understanding of how to challenge normative constructions of bodies, being, and subjectivities in terms of power. Figurations deconstruct and rebuild formations of the embodied subjectivities of oppressed peoples. I use Michel Foucault's notion o f domination and Chela Sandoval's concept of "oppositional consciousness" to describe modes of struggle against postmodern cultural forces, including multinational capitalism, consumerism, and globalization. As opposed to creating a new oppositional politi cal identity,' however, figurations present a specific methodology for encountering difference and mobilizing subordinated bodies to resistance. I argue that figurations, metaphorical subject positions constructed by the oppressed person, transform the subject into a site of contestation. These new subject positions, once strategically and self consciously practiced, are practices of freedom by which one can reorient and reimagine themselves and their world. I argue that artists over the past thirty year s have increasingly engaged with figurations in their work to transform represented subjects along new borders. In doing so, they also advocate for a new space by which one can encounter the other. Thus I argue that figurations are also concerned with asse mbling the means by which one might critically engage with radical difference, its perception and


! 2 meaning, and the other, outside of the co opting nature of what Gayatri Spivak characterizes a "hegemonic feminist theory." 1 It is from this imaginative spa ce imagining a new bodily modality and a new modality of encountering that figurations act. Figurations Figurations take as their starting point that power is implicit in the production of bodies, and that bodies are, in turn, the locus of subjectiv ities According to Rosi Braidotti, figurations are "politically informed images that portray the complex interactions of levels of subje ctivity. 2 In her book Nomadic Subjects she uses the term figuration' as the framing mechanism by which to explain ne w models of subjectivity. This thesis takes her concept of figurations and both relates the theory to the theoretical works of Foucault and Sandoval, while also extending the realm of their subversive power into the contemporary arts. Further, I argue th at when contemporary artists use figurations, they are not merely creating images, but employing a new tool that subjects /artists can take up in order to configure representati on outside of the phallocentric hegemonic order of domination : it is a doing,' so to speak, a modality that demands movement and communication from its practitioner. Further, as a strategy of resistance, figurations are used and encountered via real bodies that exist in time and space. Although figurations are a fi ctive or imaginative means of resistance, they can be useful for feminism as an emancipatory material politics.


! 3 Accompanying this notion is one that understands contemporary art as that which is not simply an image or pure' aesthetic, but a relational pra ctice that does something. Further, it places emphasis on the object ness of the artwork, specifically as that which is being used to reimagine a new embodied subject position. More than images, figurations in contemporary art use specific formal practices to create a new mode of encounter that radically challenges conventional forms of seeing, doing, and interacting with a work of art. Following Judith Butler, figurations do not begin, as does much other political philosophy, from the desired ends of a pr oject. Starting' from this point means moving backwards, asking what is necessary to achieve those ends, and then assuming a subject that is capable of enacting those means. Instead, figurations begin by questioning the presumption of the subject: what ki nd of subject or subjectivity is possible? What kind of resistance does this subject entail? To this end, the incorporation of the concept of figuration' in contemporary art signifies a doubled act of reconfiguring the materiality of the artwork and also simultaneously challenging the notion of a single materiality of the body. These sculptural works deny both traditional figural representation and the fetishistic function of the commemorative art object, instead offering new analogues for bodily schemas. Where traditional sculpture might attempt to restore a certain bodily presence or fullness, both artists discussed in this thesis highlight the problematics involved with representation both as an ethical practice


! 4 and artistic dilemma. Such a dilemma is c orrelated to the speed at which strategies of resistance are co opted by hegemonic cultural conditions. As opposed to acting as totalizing imagery for a new human condition, figurations offer a way out of old patterns of thinking. No single figuration cl aims to be the univocal image for a contemporary subject ; both the proclamation of univocality and immobility are simply characteristics of unexamined universalizing discourses, which are proliferated through the dispersal of unchanging images. According t o Braidotti, figurations resist such essentializing claims of truth;' instead, their emphasis on embodiment goes hand in hand with a radical rejection of essentialism." 3 Indeed, figurations encourage a multiplication of meaning that attends to difference s in physical positions, standpoints, and experiences. When employed by the oppressed person in an act of self representation, figurations engage with the excess of meaning that escapes the bounds of any single identity category. Avoiding identity catego ries requires a critical consideration of the processes of understanding' that must remain paramount to feminism as an emancipatory politics. That is to say, as opposed to categories such as the monolithic "Woman," which both exceeds the boundaries of its definition while also acting as a figure of exclusion figurations formulate alternative conditions by which a radical understanding of the other might be worked through. This consideration is especially important when the process of understanding is cont ingent upon or articulated through an art object. However, rather than simply setting the conditions for understanding through the art object that is, rather than


! 5 creating a new image that sets the boundaries for a given identity, both artists discussed in this thesis, Felix Gonzalez Torres and Doris Salcedo, formulate a mode of encounter through the formal strategies articulated in their sculptures. In other words, figurations are useful as a tools of resistance not only through their engagement with rep resentation, but also by fostering a space of encountering difference in order to radically empower the viewer. The word metaphorical' is particularly apt in describing figurations, especially as they relate to the visual arts. Metaphors enrich signific ation by carrying meaning over from one image to another. They invigorate and enliven the image to movement so as to strengthen its radical possibilities and deepen its capacity for meaning. In her analysis of metaphors, Mieke Bal relates them to the proce ss of translating. She states, "Thus, to metaphor' becomes an act that bridges. Like translation, metaphoring transfers' something." 4 She goes on, however, to describe the ways that metaphors differ from translations, stating, "Unlike translation, metaph or's starting point is not a particular language but a situation that needs adequate expression." 5 Such urgency is precisely that which gives metaphors their movement. One can see evidence of metaphorical movement in the work of Felix Gonzalez Torres, a Cuban American artist who creates sculptures that speak to the body of his lover, Ross, who died of AIDS in 1991. Despite their specificity, the works' formal qualities generate an interaction with the work that both attend to the present body, while also opening up the possibility of encountering other bodies. In Untitled (Portrait of Ross in LA) 1991 (Fig. 1), for example, the


! 6 artist's representation of Ross as a pile of candy, which can be taken and consumed by the activated viewer, signifies the often violent construction and destruction of marginalized bodies. Although the artist chose to rep resent a specific body, such attendance does not invoke a universal language' of images; indeed, it is quite the opposite. The power of the metaphorical figuration is in its attendance to difference rather than sameness, in order to articulate new strate gies of resistance. As opposed to limiting our understanding of the other, the very particularity of that with whom the viewer interacts actually presents a unique opportunity for a stronger encountering. Indeed, the very act of transferring meaning, of using a metaphor, is evidence of the excess of meaning that occurs in the process of articulation, especially of difference. Metaphors are a formal strategy of a type of understanding that does not seek completeness, but instead remains open to that that c annot be understood. It is important here to emphasize the urgency that accompanies needing ad equate expression.' In "Poetry I s Not a Luxury," Audre Lorde states that poetry is the form by which one can "give name to the nameless so it can be thought." 6 The acute need to find a means of expression for one's oppression is related to the title of her essay poetry is not a luxury; poetry is survival. Simply put, figurations come down to survival. At stake in the politics of representation is not simply vi sibility; it is death, death by the vicious neocolonizing apparatuses of late capitalism and its effects. For Felix Gonzalez Torres, it is death, not by AIDS, which ended up taking his life and that of his lover, but death by the


! 7 regulatory practices which signify his body as death itself; for Doris Salcedo, it is death by State sponsored kidnappings and widespread political violence in her native Colombia. According to Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari in A Thousand Plateaus speaking of metaphor implies a use of language that is imprecise and merely descriptive. In order to complete the goal of language, which is to analyze, critique, and perform in the world, they advocate the use of mobile concepts. However, the metaphoricity' of figurations problemat izes the referent in such a way that they become inherently mobile. This is because the referent from which meaning blooms is the body,' and there is no pure' body that precedes the forces of power. The question is not whether the body is or is not repre sentable, but rather that forces of domination have contorted and politicized representations of the body in such a way that renders them always already codified with hegemonic patriarchal values. What contemporary artists are engaging with is the limits of what can be represented and how, as opposed to being non or anti representative all together. Indeed, anti representation, which was seen with Malevich's Suprematist Composition: White on White 1918, (Fig. 2) or Jackson Pollock's Lavender Mist 1950, (Fig. 3), is often aligned with the destiny of modernism, as a principle of autonomy with which anti representation takes part. Contrary to this notion, within the postmodern cultural conditions of late capitalism, there is both an excess of images and a declared crisis of representation. There is thus a reintroduction of representation as that which contributes to the progression of


! 8 consumerism, globalization, and international development; and also a critical investigation into the representation of the fractured subject. In "The Discourse of Others," Craig Owens conjoins the feminist critique of patriarchy and the postmodernist critique of representation, exploring the ways that postmodern means of representation are also concerned with the systems of po wer that authorize certain representations while denying others. 7 Between these two approximate periods modernism and postmodernism representation did indeed change form, but it was still working within the structures of domination that molded it. Foll owing Craig Owens, it is clear that an analysis of power and domination is required for a comprehensive critique of representation. The body' represented in figurations "political fictions" (Braidotti) or "foundational myths" (Haraway) opens up cate gories of lived experience outside of a normative framework of representation, subjectivity, and legibility by pointing to the phallocentric institutions and discourses t hat serve to materialize bodies. According to Judith Butler, political representation is concerned both with extending "visibility and legitimacy" while also being "the normative function of a language which is said to either reveal or distort what is assumed to be true about the category of woman." 8 Prevailing notions about the subject' of feminism have come under question, but the problematic still remains: that of incorporating radical difference into feminism as an emancipatory politics. Representing difference, both within political institutio ns and art objects, is often subsumed by a hegemonic feminism which calls for a full engagement with the other' without considering the ways that notions of understanding' an


! 9 other are often themselves products of a hierarchy of thinking which favors ful l or complete knowledge. Indeed, political difference is often erased or essentialised within postmodernism through the proliferation of images, which render the other as that which is pure image. What figurations propose, to both the political project of feminism and the artistic project of representation, is a materiality of both artwork and body that is embodied. I argue that the embodied ness of the subject accounts both for difference and the position that structures of domination play in the process o f representation. Embodied Subjectivity This materiality based subjectivity embodied subjectivity' takes as its starting point that the body is the primary condition of subjectivity; and that the subject's positionality is key to her ontological pos sibilities. The subject is rendered as a complex site that i s defined by overlapping and potentially contradictory factors, including gender, race, sexuality, age, location, and so on. According to Foucault the role that power, domination, and normalizing disciplines play in shaping the normative, docile, or naturalized body is of primary importance to the formation of subjectivity. T hese power formations "stabilizes and consoli dates the coherent subject by creating a fixed body that is somehow separate f rom the inner stability of its identity. 9 For Judith Butler, for example, gender is the foundational normalizing force in the formation of subjectivity in the sense that it is always already sex, desire, and other forces, which demands its own security thr ough a cultural order that protects and


! 10 reinforces its naturalized power. It maintains its hegemony via processes of internalization, wherein the self or soul, which is interior to the body, is imagined as always already having an inherent gender and thu s sexual identity. Such a spatial ordering produces a presumed human subject that is separate from or preceding the affective experiences of the body, which maintains a certain level of control, capability, and knowledge about that same body. Following Foucault, Deleuze refers to this binary as a folding,' wherein the inside is a function of the outside. This exteriority produces an interior by doubling or folding back on itself. 10 But these binaries do not arrive under the pretense of innocence, and bo th inner/outer, body/mind is correlated with a parallel bifurcation, wherein Man transcends the body and Woman is represented as bodily immanence. In The Second Sex Simone de Beauvoir expands upon the notion of Man as transcendence and Woman as immanence, wherein Woman has been relegated to a life of monotony and boredom, while Man is privileged with creativity, production, and authorship of cultural activities. 11 Man's ontological alignment with the mind further configures him as the universal subject, wit h the ability to name, appropriate, and legitimize. Craig Owens raises the question of the master narrative, which is in fact a narrative of mastery. He asks, "What function did these narratives play other than to legitimize Western man's self appointed mi ssion of transforming the entire planet in his own image?" 12 Thus this transforming of the world constructs a relationship between the subject,


! 11 representation, and power, wherein representation' is in fact an act of power exercised by the subject. A fou rth interrelated dualism emerged to further protect and reinforce the normative categorization of bodies: that there are only two types of bodies, which are in fact the' body and its lack or compliment. 13 This last delineation occurs on a number of levels: within psychoanalysis, Woman is seen as the minus sign, lacking both a penis and the phallus. Here, the penis' signifies the anatomical body part, while the phallus' refers to male derived power. While no one can possess the phallus, masculine hegemony is dependent upon the appearance of having it Excluded from the phallic economy, she is also denied subjectivity, rationality, and power. In "Ideal Masculinities: An Anatomy of Power," Anthea Callen uses a culturally historical analysis of scientific draw ings of the male bodied skeleton to show how patriarchal dominance reproduces conceptions of bodies by posing the male bodied skeleton as the natural' or essential' human form. 14 This not only categorizes the sexed body as being one or an other,' but al so places it with in a hierarchy wherein the male sexed body is somehow the only body and its female counterpart is purely negative. Gender non conforming people or those who identify as genderqueer are entirely absent from such a conversation. T hese binaries function along lines not only of gender, but also of class, race, geographical location, and other variables. Significantly, in the mid twentieth century feminists of color produced a similar critique of the universalizing subject of feminism as o ne that is white. According to Hazel


! 12 Carby, white feminists universalized "the category of white women without taking into account racial and class differences that distinguish and divide women." 15 One can also see evidence of these binaries enacting contro l over other bodies, such as the ways that queer bodies (transsexual bodies, lesbian bodies) are forced between a binary of abjection or intelligibility in order to be comprehended as citizen subjects by the Nation State. 16 Ultimately, the foundational and exclusionary basis for these constructions is the body; or, to put it in another way, dominating disciplines and practices manifest themselves on the body, which acts as the concentrated site of cultural inscriptions and he gemonic control. In response, many feminist and critical theorists have claimed that subjects are the products of a historical and cultural process of materialization These theorists, such as Judith Butler, Donna Haraway, and Michel Foucault, intervened in the debate between essentialism and social constructionism that occupied the feminist movement in the nineteen seventies and eighties. Although these debates were useful in denaturalizing gender, they also simultaneously implied that gender was somethin g that occurred to bodies that already possessed a given biological category. Instead, they shifted the conversation to a critique of the conditions by which subjects are produced. In the nineteenth century, law and discipline helped transform the body i nto a political corporeality. As Nan Alamilla Boyd points out, "Not only did the materiality of the body gain meaning as it became subject to new laws and regulations, but paradoxically the body became the subject of the state". 17 This led to increasing ef ficiency in self regulation and maintenance of one's own


! 13 normativity. It also served to relate the individuality of the body as meaningful only in relation to the political system by which it was defined. Thus rather than understanding bodies as prediscurs ive objects that are acted upon by social forces, bodies "are themselves already products of power relations, themselves already shaped by socio political forces. 18 More specifically, the consideration of bodies as themselves products of power relations i s related to the deconstruction of the sex/gender binary, wherein gender is seen as a cultural overlay placed upon a naturalized body. This process is one that does not involve a linear timeline, but rather that sex, gender, as well as desire, are all simu ltaneously formed. I t is through the body that subjects are constituted and regulated; but it is also through the body that one can reclaim moments of freedom. The body serves to both restrict and empower our capacity for action and self definition. Accor ding to Foucault, subjection is the result of the ways that dominating disciplines and praxis constitute the subject, while subjectivation relates to the individual's active construction of the self. It is important here to remember that Foucault different iates between the notion of a subject' and a self.' The self is "a subject to power that shapes the individual's understanding of his or her identity." 19 A consideration of technologies or practices of the self is a consideration of the way that an indivi dual acts upon themselves as a subject. These practices of the self have the potential to become practices of freedom if their goal is the end of domination. Figurations take up the task of deconstructing naturalizing processes by examining normative stand ards, power form ations, and


! 14 discursive fields. As a strategy that is characterized in part by critical self reflexivity, they have the capacity to be practices of freedom. For Judith Butler normative conceptions of gender are formulated through "a styli zed repetition of acts through time." 20 However, she contends that the performative component of gender is the very means by which its naturalization process can be questioned. Without an understanding of this resistive aspect of her and other theories on the cultural and historic body, it is easy to fall into the trap of cultural determinism as passive bodies without agency, social forces moving over and through them without consent or will. Figurations are a way to avoid the pitfall of determinism, the most dangerous of which is political stagnation or hopelessness. Figurations are points of resistance that defy conventional forms of representation and normative legibility, readily admitting to their own construction' while also intentionally placi ng them outside or in opposition to normative economies of subjectivity. They are tools or mechanisms formulated by oppressed persons that serve to "constitute themselves as resistant and oppositional subjects." 21 This places the body in a paramount and paradoxical position: it is not only the material location of cultural, hegemonic values, but it is also a site of radical possibility. Where does this resistance come from? How can it be exercised in order to co nceptualize an alternative subject? More specifically, in what ways do the visual arts provide a uniquely radical possibility for resistance? The answer and the mold from which figurations are created can perhaps be found in the works of Michel Foucaul t and Chela Sandoval


! 15 Power Resistance and Freedom Foucault rejects the traditional model of power, which he calls the juridico discursive model. Within this model, power is hierarchical, produced and distributed from a single force and is primarily characterized as censoring and uniform. However, Foucault counters with a conception of power that he describes as "the multiplicity of force relations immanent in the sphere in which they operate and which constitute their own organization." 22 He states la ter, "power is not an institution, and not a structure; neither is it a certain strength we are endowed with; it is the name that one lends to a complex strategical situation in a particular society." 23 Thus, a chief component of Foucault's formation of po wer is t hat it is relational and moving. I t is a force that produces relations amongst people, institutions, and things that are both omnipresent and localized. As a productive force, power also produces subjects. The individual, according to Foucault, is made subject within relations of power. Power is an effect or relationship, rather than a thing that any one person, group of persons, or institution can possess. He states, "one is always inside' power, there is no escaping' it;" 24 in a later intervie w, he claims, "Power is everywhere." 25 Although a chief principle of his formation of power is its ubiquity, it is not totalizing or necessarily destructive. Conventional theories of power (such as the juridico discursive theory) claim a negative relation: "it is a power that only has the force of the negative on its side, the power to say no; it is basically anti energy." 26 However,


! 16 according to Foucault, power is productive in the sense that it creates subjects, discourses, and resistance. As a relation between persons, Foucault's system of power is liable to reversal. Related is the distinction Foucault makes between power and domination Domination is defined as a "state of asymmetrical power relations that persists over time and may seem fixed." 27 Indeed, the project of feminism is to end systems of domination that have been frozen in a state of asymmetrical relations and enforced through stabilizing norms, su ch as heteronormativity or hegemonic masculinity. According to Foucault, the subject an d the body are the effects and products of power Subjectivity and the body are inseparable constructs; thus, Foucault calls for a theorizing of subjectivity that is s pecifically embodied. This view of the body is consistent with his rejection of the universal subject, which disregards such variables as historical specificity, gender, class, ability, race, and cultural difference. Embodied subjectivity claims that subje cts cannot be analyzed separately from the forces from which they are constituted; therefore, according to Foucault, questions "about subjectivity aretemporally and ontologically secondary to questions of the body." 28 Many feminist critics of Foucault ar gue that his conception of the subject as an effect of power implies a lack of agency, which is incompatible to feminism as an emancipat ory politics. According to Lois M cNay, "Foucault's understanding of individuals as passive bodies has the effect, albeit unintentional, of pushing women back into this position of passivity and silence." 29 This reading


! 17 of Foucault misinterprets his notion of power, which is not purely negative. Indeed, resistance and resistant bodies can be produced within relations of power Although his project differs from many feminist critiques of the body, it s complex and elusive model can in fact be very useful in thinking about normative disciplinary practices and ways to resist them. He opposes the mind/body dualism that has helped maintain the hegemony of the Cartesian subject. He states, "there is always presupposed a human subject on the lines of the model provided by classical philosophy," and it is this assumption of subjectivity that he attempts to disrupt. 30 The pr oduction of power can produce docile bodies and resistant bodies. Within Foucault's theorization of power, bodies can become the literal and theoretical site s of contestation/ cultural inscription. He constructs a dynamic body, one that can both engage "in the macropolitics of collective struggle, or in the micropolitics of individual resistance." 31 Resistance comes not from an attempted escape from power, but rather to enable power's movement outside of fixed relations in domination ; thus, resistance can tak e many forms, such as counter disciplines, social movements, or different ways of thinking. According to Foucault's definition, "Freedom is not a final state to be realized, but occurs only in its exercise through reversal, resistance, and other practice s of freedom [emphasis added]. 32 Freedom is not the absence of constraint but rather a practice, and as such it cannot be possessed or distributed; likewise, Foucault emphasizes practices of freedom over processes of liberation precisely because the notion of liberation is often conceptualized as the


! 18 overcoming of forces that have concealed or oppressed an essential human nature in order for the subject to be reconciled with her true self. He does, however, agree that liberation is often the condition for t he practice of freedom, stating, "Liberation paves the way for new power relationships, which must be controlled by practices of freedom." 33 Saul Tobias points out that the framework by which many critics have discussed Foucault's work has shifted from "the distinction between freedom and constraint, to the distinction between freedom as power and domination." 34 This shift admits that freedom is not the opposing state to one of constraint, but rather that both freedom and constraint occur within an economy of shifting power relations. Further, this reimagines domination rather than constraint as that which is opposed to practices of freedom. This understanding of freedom as power is also useful in thinking of how the embodied subject is both disciplined and r esistant. Indeed, rather than accepting a traditional juridical notion of freedom that is defined as a legislated set of universal rights, Foucault conceives of freedom as embodied in the acts of resistance carried out by the subject herself. Thus, with th is conception of freedom as power, as well as power as productive, Foucault's practices of freedom might be conceived of as active self creation, as opposed to a state of domination, wherein the self is a regulated, fixed identity that is controlled by nor ms and disciplinary practices. 35 The subject's self creation involves critical reflexivity in order to produce the aesthetics of the self. For Foucault, "Freedom is the ontological condition of ethics." 36 This is significant because he also claims that one has an ethical obligation to care for


! 19 oneself; in fact, the way the self relates to itself as the ethical subject of its own action is Foucauldian ethics. Practicing freedom thus requires fashioning a new relationship to the self, self care, and self crea tion. These practices are especially important within productive power relations, which continuously co opts such practices. The opportunity for self creation is realized through the subject's relation to norms, which are historically and culturally conti ngent, and non homogenous. Norms are always struggling to maintain the boundaries that they create. In this way, norms create temporal excess. In the subject's struggle with norms, she finds herself "subjecting them to rupture or revisionor contest ing the ir hegemony." 37 Thus the subject has the opportunity to transform itself in part through the opacity and conflict of norms. Pairing this notion with Foucault, there is certainly an opportunity for the subject to create herself. Margaret McLaren argues that the feminist practice of consciousness raising is a perfect example of this kind of new self because it "involves not only self transformation, but also social and political transformation." 38 In a similar way, figurations are a practice of freedom because they involve a self conscious transformation of the artist's or the body in question's subjectivity. Figurations present new ways to think about the ontological conditioning involved in being and having a body. They take as their starting point not simply working on the "self" as an individuated body, but also to re think the "self" as a collective body that gains meaning through relational activities. Foucault describes the care of the self and the practices of freedom as that which implies a relationship to others,


! 20 rather than being narcissistically individuated. In this sense caring for the self as a practice of freedom can be understood as a conversion of power, because "it is the power over self which will regulate the power over others." 39 Foucault's grounding for an ethics of self care also relates to the aestheticization of the self, or thinking of oneself as a work of art. This calls for a process of self invention in order to challenge the limitations of our natural' or assigned identit ies. Of course, Foucault locates the individual as functioning within matrices of power; thus, practices of freedom are not to be found in self creation itself but rather in self creation as located within other defining forces. Through this interrogation of the self, the questioning of the limits to one's subjectivity, and a critical self awareness, the possibilities for transgression emerge. According to Moya Lloyd, Foucault's ideas about a critical self awareness create an emancipatory situation wherein the subject can construct a self that resists perpetuating dominant discourses. 40 Following Lloyd, I argue that Foucault's theories around self creation are directly related to figurations, which also involve a new subject position in order to occupy a sit e of resistance. Figurations as Oppositional Consciousness Although the body is constituted by knowledge and power forces, "the limits of its experiences can never be firmly set because they cannot ever be fully determined and articulated." 41 The embodied body, the experiential body, can thus "multiply, distort, and overflow the meanings, definitions, and classifications that are attached to experiences." 42 Just as certain classifications of bodies


! 21 regulate what is considered normal,' so too d o transgressive experiences create the boundary between the intelligible and the unintelligible. However, in considering the technologies of domination it is also vital to consider the ways that domination ca n respond to and reconfigure social, politica l, economic, industrial, and technological changes. Postmodern cultural conditions have created a strong neocolonial and neoimperial force in the twenty first century. Sandoval, in her seminal work "Methodology of the Oppressed," offers new decolonizing a pparatuses that can be used to establish a means of oppositional resistance to power, to create an alternative and resistant subject. She claims that there is an oppositional category of feminist thinking, that of "differential consciousness," which is the ideology supporting the theory and praxis behind third world feminists in the U.S. Differential consciousness p resents new paradigm s of subjectivity that, "once self consciously recognized by their inhabitants, can become transfigured into effective site s of resistance to an oppressive ordering of power relations." 43 The word transfiguring is especially significant here, for it implies a taking up of older materials and turning them into something new, something perhaps unrecognizable. Oppositional con sciousness and figurations weave between ideological positions, inverting Althusser's formulation of ideology, in which ideology interpellates the subject; instead, it is the subject who calls up ideology, strategically deploying subjective forms of resist ance outside of those which are constituted by the social order itself. Differential consciousness recognizes itself as "consensual illusions." 44 E xamples of differential consciousness that Sandoval


! 22 presents "mestiza," "Sister Outsider," are themselves figurations, images b orn of both material and theoretical circumstances. The mestiza conceptualized by feminist postcolonial theorist Gloria Anzaldua, is a subject position that welcomes categorical ambiguity and multiplicity. She describes this figure as a consciousness of the Borderlands, a space where entities, histories, and identiti es merge and overlap. For Anzaldua, the imagery of the borders, and borders as the location of the mestiza, represent the struggle to create non dualistic thinking and ways of being. As these bodily figurations are schematized between or amongst different forms of oppression, they too must travel the geogra phy of subject positions, a condition or ontological activity that feminists of color and LGBTQ identified feminists have employed as a political posture for decades Thus, Anzaldua's mestiza emerges fro m a place of non binary subjectivity, a standpoint that arises from lived experience and then is consciously deployed to both translate experience, to make it legible, and also to use it as radical subversion. In "New Sciences: Cyborg Feminism and the Me thodology of the Oppressed," Sandoval develops Haraway's cyborg as a form of oppositional consciousness that characterizes the political standpoint of marginalized groups stating that "colonized peoples of the U.S. have already developed the cyborg skills required for survival under techno human conditions 45 However, the cyborg's characteristic double vision, situatedness, and intersectionality may account for the notable level s of self consciousness that agents take up and employ ; Sandoval claims that th ose most oppressed by the unequal distribution of


! 23 power within a society of transnational capitalistic patriarchy have enough insight into that domination to question its legitimacy and formulate an opposition. In her critique of the notion of epistemic privilege, Ami Bar On argues that granting certain marginalized subject positions greater authority in fact is used to "silence and command obedience from the authorized voice." 46 Haraway offers a similar critique, stating, "subjugation is not grounds for o ntology." 47 However, rather than thinking of standpoint epistemology as an uncritical authorization of truth, it is in fact a standpoint of position and location, which provides an opportunity to make visible and further displace the exclusionary boundaries by which subjects are constituted. Donna Haraway goes on to state "The standpoint of the subjugated are not innocent' positions. On the contrary, they are preferred because in principle they are least likely to allow denial of the critical and interpre tive core of all knowledge." 48 This interpretive core' of knowledge is precisely what allows the oppressed to interpellate ideology, not as an essential function of their oppression, but rather through "partial, locatable, critical knowledges." 49 To extend this position further, figurations correspondingly account for the material conditions that sustain these different subject positions." 50 For example, Rosi Braidotti's nomad is a subject position characterized by hybridity and plurality, as well as being in a constant state of becoming. As a figuration, the nomad intervenes between feminism and postmodernism by articulating the desire to leave behind linear modes of thinking while also staying committed to the feminist practice of ending dominati on. Of course, these figurative subject


! 24 positions do not need to be named or unified under a single theory; as shown in the following two chapters, the concept of figurations does not often need to be announced as such; as it is constructed by the oppresse d person, and as it is a tool for radical subversion, it exists as much as a mode of encounter as it does a material object or theoretical essay. T he subjects figurations articulate are expressly locational, contextual, and relevant, not concealing but r ather expanding upon one's lived experiences. The imaginative act required to envision the formulation of resistance the leap of faith is in actuality performed less on faith and more on certainty: of a self conscious engagement with the politics of su bjectivity, and of one's own material positioning in the matrices of domination. Bodies are thus mobilized as sites or topographies of resistance; I use the word topography,' from the Greek word topos for place, to delineate the location wherein cultural and psychical ideologies manifest. Differential consciousness and the project of the figuration' are useful for feminist theories of difference that have failed to account for the variability of subject positions while also remaining a pol itically salie nt classification As Foucault points out, juridical systems of power come to produce the very subjects they represent. Feminism can only get as far as the category of Woman; or, to put it another way, feminism will never get far as a political ideology if it operates within a naturalized system based on exclusion. The assumption of the universality of the subject of feminism, which, as Judith Butler points out, "often accompanies the notion that the oppression of women has some singular form," 51


! 25 always alr eady contains the dangerous possibility of intelligibility, exclusion, or exile because its definitions can never be fully set or realized. The task is not to refuse representation ("as if that would be possible," states Butler) 52 or to create subject po sitions that are ineffective or relativistic to the point of indifference, but rather to create, as Haraway suggests, "partial, locatable, critical knowledges." 53 In doing so, one truly respond s to the task of feminism, which is the end of systems of domina tion. The paradox of representation that it both serves as a system to extend and legitimate visibility to subjects and as a structure that twists and shapes its subjects to its own ends is fully reorganized within the concept of figurations. Instead, the non phallocentric vision offered by any one figuration use s representation as a strategic politic to the end of the oppressed person or group which is the end of systems of domination. It inverts the traditional process by which the subject somehow precedes political legibility; instead, one uses representative means to critically reinvert norms following the subject's constitution. Contemporary art is one of the many sites that figurations might manifest in politically salient ways. However, it is a location that presents the material body of the artwork, which in turn comes to mirror and enliven the material body of the subject /artist represented. Further, it provides a unique phenomenological opportunity to create an interaction with the other that is based on critical intimacy and difference, rather than a distance that is subsumed by sameness. The paradoxical problematics of figurations as ima ginative and material, theoretical and experiential are collapsed in contemporary art and the art object The


! 26 following chapters will explore the ways that artists use figurations in politically salient ways.


! 27 Chapter Two: Pain and Proximity in Doris Salcedo's Sculptures In this chapter, I examine the work of Doris Salcedo, a contemporary Colombian artist whose quiet and austere sculptures speak to the incommensurability of pain and the victimizing effects of structural violence. He r works, which deny figural representation, have their origins in the testimonials of the victims and survivors to which her objects refer. I argue that this refusal to depict or specify pain, trauma, or oppression through traditionally figurative means no t only reconfigures the oppressed body in pain, but it also reconfigures the witness's (the viewer's) relationship with and to this oppressed body. In this way, her works prompt a radically political attempt to bridge an understanding of difference outside of normative economies or representations of the third world,' war victims, or people of color as the y are shown in the Global North. By employing the concept of the figuration, whereby the embodied subjectivity of the oppressed body in pain speaks and is spoken, Salcedo fosters a point of intersection or communication between the Global South and the Global North, between pain and not p ain, and between oppressors and the oppressed. This space is not one that is meant to result in completeness or total comprehension of another's marginalization. Rather, what is created is a desperate desire to understand with the simultaneous recognition that understanding' as it is normatively constructed will never be possible. Rather than being a reason to grieve, however, a renewed construction of understanding presents an opportunity


! 28 to empower the agency of the viewer within the econom y of oppressio n and domination. Through collaboration with the victims and bearing witness to their histories, the artist creates works that meditate on the experience of trauma, war, and being a citizen of the Global South. Her sculptural figurations facilitate a new m ode of encounter with the other that critically revises what it means to understand' the embodied experience of an oppressed person. In doing so, her works re center a radical understanding of difference as that which must be worked for in collective femi nist politics. Pain In The Body in Pain Elaine Scarry examines the incommunicability of pain. She states that for a body in pain, the pain is grasped effortlessly; this process is inverted for the body that is not in pain: what is effortless, she states is not grasping it [pain]." 54 She goes on : "'having pain' may come to be thought of as the most vibrant example of what it is to have certainty,' while for other person it is so elusive that hearing about pain' may exist as the primary model for what i t is to have doubt '" 55 This paradox that pain is at once something which cannot be denied and yet something which cannot be confirmed creates a state of what Scarry calls "unsharability," which is reinforced through pain's resistance to language. 56 Tha t one cannot share one's pain is obviously isolating; further, the fear of not being believed, especially if the pain persists over ti me, is absolutely frightening


! 29 Although Scarry is referring to physical pain, her analysis can easily be extended to the force and function of structural violence, a kind of pain that similarly affects the body of the victim and that is equally incommensurable. Structural violence' might be considered as a complex of domination based forces including norm alizing discourses, institutions, and disciplinary measures. More specifically, structural violence is related to Michel Foucault's dual concepts of domination and power, as it is relational and integrated into the interactions between two or more people, institutions, or groups. Perhaps most dangerously, there is often no clear director of structural violence; rather, like Elaine Scarry's description of the body in pain, the trans mutability of pain caused by structural violence is impossible because of the very invisibility of its source. Structural violence does not exclude direct physical harm, which often has a clear perpetrator' (even if there is ethical ambiguity). Salcedo's works especially engage with this form of domination, specifically State based and State perpetuated violence against Colombian citizens in the later part of the century. National or state terrorism is intimately linked to racism, sexual violence, and othe r institutional brutalities. One can see this in the extreme incorporation of rape as a tactic of war. How, then, can meaningful understanding be formed between the person in pain and the person in not pain, or the oppressed person and the oppressor? In C hapter One I briefly discuss the ways that consciousness raising techniques pioneered by feminists in the 1970s worked to bridge difference through an examination of all aspects of social and cultural life as components to structures


! 30 of domination. From t his, feminists not only identified commonalities in experiences, but also located the ways that they too were implicated in the perpetuation of dominator culture. Through these practices, feminists empowered themselves to transform their personal and colle ctive circumstances. Yet, there are still many issues in expressing the inexpressibility of what it means to move through the world as a marginalized person, especially outside of an intentional space like a consciousness raising group. Further, within pat riarchal economies the oppre ssed person is often forced to explain themselves' in terms of proof, exact examples, and a linear narrative that is, according to a heg emonic juridical system that assumes a rational' subject on the basis of exclusion and the process of transmitting one's experience bec omes all the more difficult. Thi s is the power of structures of domination, which conceal their causes and bury their effects. This problematic is increasingly compounded when one considers that the way that "pain does not simply resist language but actively destroys it." 57 Thus, phenomenological or bodily knowledge, which is already relegated as lesser than or lacking the evidence of rationality (but not conviction, never the conviction), and which is also o ften difficult to translate beyond an affect, is simply not enough. For Doris Salcedo, transferring the experiences of wartime trauma victims in Colombia to an international art audience, but specifically those audiences that live in the Global North, ther e is also the problem with the representation of otherness, the "third world," and people of color.


! 31 The Global North' and the Global South' refer to an economi cally based organizational model that divides the world by those countries with a high Human Development Index and those with a medium or low index rating. The standards for the Human Development index are literacy, life expectancy, and other standards of living. I choose this over other binary terminology such as developed/less devel oped or first world/third world, which presents a false trajectory of success' to which those lesser' countries might aspire. While the terms used in this thesis are also problematic namely that they use the same binary formation as other classificatio n systems, as well as using a legitimating system that does not account for economic inequities it seems to be the most sufficient and widely used vocabulary. The artist herself reclaims designations like the third world,' stating, "I am a Third World a rtist. From that perspective from the perspective of the victim, from the perspective of the defeated people it's where I'm looking at the world." 58 Postmodern cultural conditions, such as globalization, commodification, and late capitalism, have facil itated a re emergence of neoimperial forces, whereby the material interactions between the Global South and Global North now manifest in neocolonizing ways, such as in the global production of goods and the outsourcing of international labor Sandoval desc ribes the postmodern ist conception of domination as a false perception of the "democratization of oppression ," achieved by creating a grid of "neocolonial (postmodern) identities and proliferating coalition groups." 59 Such a terrain is sustained in part thr ough a cultural overflow of images of people from the Global South, though rarely are


! 32 these same people represented as much more than an image. One can see this excess of images of people of color from the Global South simply by entering any Starbucks, Who le Foods, or other corporate chains that purport economic responsibility.' One sees the face of the other' that produces what the consumer consumes. The familiarity with which citizens from Western countries interact with these faces is not only mediated by the photographic image, but also by the products themselves. This is clearly seen in another aspect of the postmodern cultural condition: awareness, recognition, and familiarity with images of war. Since the televising of the Gulf War and subsequent spectacle of terror, which was seen in previously unmatched degrees after 9/11, th e presentness of images of violence have saturated the everyday lives of citizens in the Global North, particularly in the United States. This process occurs to such a degree that the referent of the image, real pain and human suffering, ceases to exist. T he citizen of the Global South is thus the citizen of war, an effect whereby citizens of the Global North are made certain that violence is limited to the non Western world. Less developed' thus comes to mean violent,' while developed' countries are nat uralized as non violent. The binary between Western/non Western, non violent/violent, is often upheld through the appropriation of narratives of pain, which then turn into teleological images of violence itself. According to Sara Ahmed, feminists must "ac cess pain as something that responds to structures and politics that we can engage in. We must locate ourselves in, and potentially as a cause of, the other's


! 33 pain." 60 Pain can be used as a potentially liberating force, but this cannot occur without first t he recognition of one's own involvement in and preservation of dominator culture. What does it mean to locate oneself in and as a cause of the other's pain? How does this affect one's encounter with the other? Understanding Pain Doris Salcedo responds to capitalist domination by creating sculptural works that subvert hegemonic forms of representation The same neocolonial forces that produce a culture oversaturated with images of the docile other also create the conditions by which Western citizens interac t with those images Thus, Salcedo's resistance is found both in the ways she represented the oppressed body in pain, but also the mode of encounter that she creates. In this chapter I give a close reading of one series of her works, La Casa Viuda [The Wid owed House] (1992 1995 ) Rather than presenting a wider survey, I attend only to this series because it serves as a concise example of the potentially transformative political power of Salcedo's works. I focus on these works in particular because of the wa ys that they incorporate the concept of the figuration, whereby oppressed, silenced, and marginalized bodies are reimagined outside of the hegemonic imaginations that legislate their subjectivity. The title of the works refers to a Colombian expression that means a widowed house,' invoking loneliness, being left behind, enclosure. It is often used in Colombia to describe the homes of those who have been victim to th e political violence the home is the widow Indeed, this series presents the empty part s of a


! 34 home that has lost all of its inhabitants; or rather, a home that has become its inhabitants from that loss, a home that has reconfigured itself in the wake of a terrible absence. This series in particular uses delicate and disquieting formal strate gies, such as the insertion of a bone into a front door as in La Casa Viuda IV [detail], 1994, (Fig. 4), or a zipper that is quietly placed on the side of a cabinet, as with La Casa Viuda II [detail], 1993 94, (Fig. 5), in order to work through the problem atic of understanding,' specifically a radical understanding of difference. By withholding the specific names, dates, locations, and so on of the victims and survivors the origins, so to speak, of her works Salcedo's art works stoutly refuse the norma tive economy of rationality, evidence, and language within postmodern forces of domination in the description or explanation of pain. Further, by holding back this conventionally important information, Salcedo critically engages with what it means to unde rstand' that is, what informative forces shape how and when one knows what they know. As demonstrated earlier in this chapter, dominant notions of understanding' are always already shaped by a patriarchal discourse that defines the ways the oppressed are allowed to speak about their oppression. Dominant notions of understanding' are also made real by postmodern cultural forces that imbue meaning within an image to the end of imperial domination. In a similar sense, to understand' is often s ynonymous with to know;' that is, the endeavor to understand something is always taken up with the goal of completeness or complete understanding. It is the quest of the master narrative of modernity: to appropriate, name, discover, and shape the world in one's image. Indeed,


! 35 reductive considerations of alterity a re products of attempting to include alterity in the prevailing framework of rationality. According to Gayatri Spivak, hegemonic structures of representation create a situation whereby full "knowledge of the other is theoretically impossible." 61 Thus, an ethical feminis t politics that is committed to e ncounters with others that facilitate differ ent formations of under standing must be coupled with an interrogation into issues of representation. These difficulties center on the question of difference. In her book Sister Outsider Audre Lorde calls for feminists to seriously incorporate a radical understandi ng of difference into their collective politics. She states, Refusing to recognize difference makes it impossible to see the different problems and pitfalls facing us as women." 62 R ecognizin g differ ence is a feminist issue of the utmost political importance and should be a central concern Indeed, feminism must be wary of the very representation of difference' and how it is used. Amy Hinterberger warns, "An ethics of representation must guar d against un interrogated notions of cultural difference." 63 An ethical engagement with difference, then, must not only account for the interrogated differences between and amongst women, but it must also include a radical self critique of one's own involve ment in domination. Patriarchy, after all, does not have a gender. Through these examinations, a radical understanding of difference is not one that serves to speak for or simply include the other, but one that critically interacts with otherness towards a collective politics of freedom. Indeed, a critical engagement with otherness could be taken as a formation of Foucault's practices


! 36 of the self which is the subject's active construction of the self. Although care for the self might be seen to supersede care for the other in Foucault's work, his works on technologies of the self in fact encourage a non reductive response to alterity. Without a care for the self, there could not be a care for the other. As Foucault's subject is one that is primarily relat ional, his ethics take up the task of caring for others as an extension of self care Although technologies of the self do not supersede or undermine the technologies of domination, the ethical actions associated with a care of the self can be deployed in resistance especially within the concept of figurations Such practices, which include an ethical self care, critical awareness, and aesthetic self stylization, can materialize as practices of resistance from disciplinary body practices. Figurations are a similar practice of freedom that I argue involves care, a wareness, and self stylization, specifically in the ways that it allows the oppressed person to reimagine new subject positions. As Doris Salcedo's work importantly introduces, figurations, which s eek to form new modalities of bodies outside of this hegemonic framework, can also be a tool for coming to a new radical understanding of difference. Recognizing difference does not mean eradicating it for there are surely very real differe nces between groups and forms of oppression. Nor does recognition of difference signify the necessary coming to a dominant mode of understanding that is, knowing Rather, the incorporation of radical difference signifies a new opportunity for a collectiv e engagement with ending domination.


! 37 Approaching artwork within a dominant mode of understanding seeking complete understanding and knowledge has the possibility of two inverse interpretative routes when examining Salcedo's oeuvre : the first being ove rly historicizing her work or overly relying on the autobiographical materials of an artist's life, a risk that is high considering her racial and ethnic identification as a Colombian woman. The second risk is interpreting her sculptures as making a series of universal claims about the pervasiveness and experience of war. Besides being simplistic, both readings ignore the reality of structural violence that is very present in her works. I argue that her sculptures sidestep both of these possibilities. Throu gh the use of found objects, which function at the level of the indexical, Salcedo creates sculptures that both invoke and re imagine the body of the oppressed person create a new mode of encounter with the other. This encounter is particular as defined by Sara Ahmed; I argue that this particularity oscillates between singularity and universality, thereby constructing a mode of understanding outside of its hegemonic definitions. That is to say, they do reference an absence through the recontextualization of indexical materials, but by never revealing their source, it remains impossible to understand' her works via the dominant mode of understanding as a source of complete knowledge of an other Thus, the viewers desire to know is leveled with the simultaneous recognition that complete understanding is not possible. This precariousness formulates an interaction or mode of encounter between the artwork and the viewer that questions the limits of understanding while also simultane ously attempting to construct new possibilities for bridging difference.


! 38 Using the concept of the figuration s in reference to the incommensurable oppressed body in pain also challenges the normalized process of recognition/recognizing that dictate a viewer 's normative response to a visual representation of a body, especially a body of col or from the Global South. According to William E. Connolly, "An identity is established in relation to a series of differences that have to become socially recognized. Ide ntity requires difference in order to be, and it converts difference into otherness in order to secure its own self certainty." 64 Thus, if identity' is built around the negative relation of difference that is socially recognized socially reinforced, Salc edo's sculptures attempt to disrupt what the viewer presumes to know, both about the other' and about their own situatedness. La Casa Viuda extends the interruption of rec ognition by using found indexical objects that are both organic and inorganic doo rs, cabinets, bones, hair to construct a new image of an oppressed body in pain in terrible pain, an oppressed body that has survived. Indeed, as much as her sculptures are memoirs for the deceased, it is a testament to the living, and to being alive wh en the world would rather you were dead. This embodiment, which explicitly references the particular other in time and space, is not meant to exist as such, it cannot be co opted by postmodern cultural forces or devolved into a trope or stereotype. The series is constructed around found doors that have been compounded with other pieces of found furniture to create new hybridized objects. The first sculpture in the series, La Casa Viuda I 1992 94, (Fig. 6) shows a dark, roughly cut door that stands up ag ainst the wall, framing a false entryway. The door is


! 39 blocked by what looks to be a small wooden chair. Cut off at the seat, the chair has been pushed into the door, its two small feet supporting the remainder of the structure. A piece of white lace hangs from the intersection of the door and the chair, and it stretches across the seat of the chair It is bound tightly across its legs; its delicacy is all but abandoned, subsumed into the defined redness of the wood (Fig. 7). La Casa Viuda II 1993 94, (Fig. 8) is similar in composition: a wooden door is again attached to an incompatible counterpart, a mid sized bureau. As with the first sculpture, objects have been imprinted into the wood of the bureau: not lace, but another household embellishment, small wh ite buttons. They are pushed into the seam of the bureau's boards, like fossils or relics from centuries past. Along the side of the bureau, the artist has hidden another detail, a short metal zipper that is partly open. As such, Salcedo's sculptures also speak to the history of the relic, organic objects that are carefully preserved for the purposes of veneration or sacred commemoration. By embedding these objects into the sculptural frame, she does not symbolically elevate the status of those dead. This startling inversion of space, wherein objects are pushed, pressed, and fused together, represents a strategy of negativity that carefully disrupts traditions of representation within the history of art and sculptural presentation. Negativity' here means a refusal a refusal to occupy the space that they are given precisely because such an occupation would be impossible. Its impossibility, which takes the form of negativity, corresponds to the lived reality of the post colonial Global South, where being oc cupied rather than occupying, is of historical relevance.


! 40 Instead, these objects are violently displaced from their original locations and transformed into something startlingly alien. Confronted by the simultaneous absence and presence of the sculptural object, the viewer must also acknowledge both the literal material presence of these items and their reconfiguration into something else. It is important to note that these items are displaced from their homes and from their everyday use value. These obje cts are familiar, as things that one uses to move through the world, and yet seemingly from out of this world a contradiction that evokes the trace presence of the person that once used them A trace, a type of indexical sign, is a testament to the past e xistence of something, and that something's persistent existence in the present. This existence is possible precisely through the trace, which attests to that presence. Each door, which has its own specific marks, bears various signs of use. According to B al, "There is an inherent bond between the trace as the most material kind of index on the one hand and the insistence on singularity on the other." 65 The "insistence on singularity" posed by Salcedo's sculptures is the insistence on a reality outside of th e object, an origin. By employing the use of the trace, the artist is prese nting to her viewer a view of the world that points to an absent particular other an other that wore shoes, an other to whom one could say good morning.' However, the use of the indexical trace is leveled with a conspicuous lack of specificity, individualization, or memorialization; the names, places, and dates of the violence and the victims are withheld from the public. In her travels throughout Colombia, the artist interviews the victims and survivors of the state


! 41 sponsored violence. In the absence of a victim or survivor, she speaks to families, those connected to the disappeared' that still remain. These conversations are the sources for all of her work. Withholding this spe cific information has a double effect: first, it allows the artist to revise the ways that a viewer approaches concepts of singularity' and universality.' Second, it invokes within the viewer an imperative to know. In Salcedo's work, the singular and un iversal are not characteristics of an event, person, or thing, nor are they exclusive forms of understanding, but rather, as Sara Ahmed suggests, they are modes of encounter. In Ahmed's article "This Other and Othe r Others, the particular is a mode by wh ich one can encounter the other. The particular is an other with a face, an other in space and time that one can face and be faced by. She states, "by attending to the particularity of this other, we can show that which fails to be grasped in the here and now, in the very somebody whom I am faced with." 66 Further, this kind of relating to the oppressed body in pain is also employing the concept of the figuration, whereby that body in pain is strategically reconfigured so as to critically end structures of domination. This kind of figuration is critical to constructing an emancipatory politic that radically engages with difference. They engage bodies in time and space with the objective of cultivating an agency within the viewer. Ahmed states, "introducing particularity at the level of encountershelps us to move beyond the dialectic of self other and towards a recognition of the differentiation between others, and their different function in constituting identity, and the permeability of bodily space." 67 After all, thinking about specificity and


! 42 universality as modes of understanding, rather than of encounter, is an impossibility that is a part of the myth of understanding itself, supported by a hegemonic structure of knowledge that seeks both to name and know everything. Universalizing violence to understand it applies to violence an essential nature, but one that is quite selective: violence becomes a quality of the Global South, of people of color, a force of racism and colonialism. And too, requiring the specifics' of an event in order to understand it im plies a type of distinction that denies ambiguity. As with figurations, which are re imaginations of bodily subjectivities, constructing a representation that takes the specific' and the universal' as modes of encounter allows for a new vocabulary to for m out of the rubble of violence. In her discussion of the proliferation of image spam Hito Steyerl states, "A growing number of unmoored and floating images correspond to a growing number of disenfranchised, invisible, or even disappeared and missing peop le." Such a correspondence indicates the extent to which representational images have been caught up in the politics of representation A negative image as a strategy of resistance is not a non image, but rather a turning away from the hegemonic framework of representation. Further, a negative image seeks to produce a mode of encounter with a representational image of an other that requires "getting close to an other while recognizing what cannot be present." 68 R ecognizing what cannot be present requires ret hinking the modes by which we encounter another/an other. Concealing information about the sources of the artist's objects accomplishes a second action, which is directly tied to the first: invoking in the


! 43 viewer a desperate need to know This need is ph ysically realized by the viewer in moving closer to the works and spending a considerable amount of time with them. As Mieke Bal, Nancy Princenthal, and others have argued, the compulsive desire to move closer to the works and to spend time with them is "b uilt into the work." 69 In the Atrabiliarios series, one only sees the depth of the depressions through one s proximity to the works. Compelling the viewer to move closer to the works serves also to disrupt the conventional act of seeing whereby the viewer s teps back and distances herself from the thing observed. It would be incorrect to say that this act disrupts the relation between subjects and objects; instead, through radical, intimate proximity and the use of the figuration, the object' becomes an othe r subject. Such a transformation incites an opportunity to both recognize, and engage with, the other. Getting close to' the works also contributes to the process of moving between and beyond the singular and the universal and engaging with the particula r. According to Ahmed, an ethical feminist engagement with an other "involves responding to the particular other in a present that carries traces of the past, as well as opening up the future." 70 Salcedo's work shifts between two different modes of encounte r, the singular and the universal, which are mediated by a reformed mode of understanding. What does it mean to take specificity and universality as modes of encounter rather than modes of understanding? What does a particular encounter with Salcedo's work the reimagined bodies she presents, look like, what does it do?


! 44 In discussing interactions with otherness in the Global South, the artist states, "This presence [of the Other] becomes part of the environment, part of the air you breathe. It is always wit h you. You can't get it out of your mind; there is no way to avoid it. So, having been born in Colombia is what makes me look at the Other. I have no choice." 71 She is speaking here to Ahmed's particular other; similarly, her interactions with those Colombi ans she's met and interviewed reflect a purposeful encounter that is based around a critical engagement with their lives. She states, "Their suffering becomes mine; the centre of that person becomes my cente and I can no longer determine where my centre ac tually is." 72 Such a level of intimacy, which is directly transmitted into the sculptural works, represents a collapse of time that facing an other produces: the artist is with the victims and survivors in the present, listening to their stories from the pa st, while also opening up opportunities of resistance for the future (in the engagement with the viewer). Similarly, mediating between the singular and the universal allows the viewer a space to face the other, not to notice its face, but to enact a mode of encounter. That is to say, what is important in a face to face encounter with the other is "not to notice the face's appearance, but to be in direct relation to the face: the face is presented to you." 73 It is in the facing that one can have an ethical r elation with the other. Intrinsic to attending to the particularity of this other is what the encounter opens up, that which fails to be grasped, which creates the possibilities for encounter other others. According to Ahmed, "An ethics of facing the other would require getting close to an other while recognizing what cannot be


! 45 present." 74 By accounting for the conditions by which one faces the other, which is the particular, rather than the particular other herself, one can imagine the possible conditions f or encountering others in the future. The viewer enters the installation space of La Casa Viuda III 1994, (Fig. 9). She sees a door that has been intersected between the tops of a headboard; the footboard appears opposite it, on the other side of a narrow hallway. In order to face this sculpture, the viewer must stand where the bed should be, literally in its absence. But the viewer does not become the surrogate bed; no, instead, the viewer must act as witness to the bed's loss, to recognize that there is no place for dreaming, sleeping, having sex, dying, and giving birth. Indeed, the loss of the bed t akes the metonymical place of the loss of the body that occupied it. The bed is lost only because the absent body is not there to fill it. The body is imbued into the bed frame, as that which it lacks. Standing there, the viewer is facing the shape of a bo dy that has taken shape by violence, unspeakable' but insisting on being spoken because of its survival. This shape, perhaps not immediately recognizable, is discerned over time one sees it in the large, hollow absence of the bed; in the harsh splinteri ng of the frame by the door; in the rendering of the door as faulty, unable to open to anything but the wall behind it. These details provoke a phenomenological experience that provides a n encounter with the present other, and yet senses the not present t hat is present in the other And this mode of encounter, this facing, is particular precisely because "the history the encounter re opens, as well as the future that it might open up." 75 This face to face meeting is paramount to feminism because it accounts for the


! 46 differences between us and prevents an account of the other' that presumes knowledge or understanding. Instead, in the facing, what is constructed is a collective politics that recognizes difference not as a force that pulls us apart, but as the condition that brings us together through an ethical labor of care. In attending to the right now, to the present, to the you that is faced, one can begin to imagine the future.


! 47 Chapter Three: Felix Gonzalez Torres's Intimate Other In this chapter, I review the works of Felix Gonzalez Torres in terms of the ways that he employs figurations as a formal tool to re imagine the normative configurations of bodies, particularly the AIDS body. In his works, I argue that he challenges the public/private dichotomy to give the viewer a singular, private experience. This experience is one always alread y imbued with tension because the sculpture materials, which are formulated by the concept of figurations, relate and reimagine the body of his dead lover. By pointing to an interpretive difference, he creates an interaction of meanings that point to the w ays that power and domination are necessitated in the production of bodies. His artworks create a mode of encounter with the other that is primarily characterized by a material and phenomenological intimacy. This is seen primarily with his candy sculptur es, works that have come to characterize the artist's oeuvre. These works, piles of candy that sit in the corner of a gallery or museum, invite the viewer to literally take a piece of candy from the sculptural form. Such an offering of intimacy is presente d in the form of touch and taste, sensory faculties that allows the viewer to come proximally to an other's body, animating the relationship between the self and the other. In inviting the viewer to eat his works, he not only literally overcomes the bounda ry between the viewer's body and the work's form, but he also creates a relationship that moves past the self other dialectic altogether. Destroying such a relationship does not mean


! 48 erasing difference, but radically exposing and allowing oneself to accept what that intimacy cannot amend, and what will always escape its boundaries. Participating and Interacting Since his premature death in 1996, an incredible amount of scholarship has emerged about the art of Felix Gonzalez Torres, a Cuban born American artist. Although dialogue concerning his body of work addresses many topics and concepts, a great number of int erpretations examine the artist's intervention into corresponding discourses surrounding public art. More specifically, many of these critics have discussed the artist's challenging a discrete notion of public' or private' spaces. For many, the problemat ic of the public/private dichotomy in Gonzalez Torres' work is understood as being answered or addressed through audience participation and interactivity. This has come to stand not only as a defining feature of his work, but also as the primary mechanisms through which the artist engages with the public. Such characterizations are meaningful considering not only the artist's New York City billboard project (1992), which is perhaps more immediately transparent in its public ness,' but also his numerous stack' pieces (1989 1994). These pieces in particular, which appear in the form of neat stacks of paper or piles of candy in the corner of a gallery or museum, invite the viewer to take a piece of the work with them. As the sculptural form collapses into i ts parts, it is also intermittently refilled, resulting in a continuously changing height, weight, size, and shape of the work. Thus, the viewer becomes a major part not only in the


! 49 construction of meaning via this interactivity' or participation', but a lso in the cyclical construction and destruction of the art object. In her essay on Gonzalez Torres, Miwon Kwon points out that the artist thought of his early stack works, rather than the later billboards, as the beginning of his interrogation into the r ole of public art. In a 1995 interview, he discusses the project of answering the public art problem that occupied many artists in the late 1980s. He makes a distinction between "public art" and "outdoor public art," the latter of which is merely considere d public' due to its size, medium, and placement. He states, "Public art is something which is really public." 76 He repudiates traditional claims concerning what constitutes public' art, as the stacks are neither large, in a public or communal space, nor made from long lasting materials. How, then, do his works transform or re configure discussions about what is really public?' Perhaps it is more useful to start with what his works are not : they are not simply "a contrarian s strategy of merely doing th e opposite of what is normally expected." 77 They are not confessions, repentances, or declarations; nor are they are memorials. The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt O ngoing, (Fig. 10) for example, which remembers those who died of AIDS, is very clearly a commemoration; it directs the viewer to meditate on the tragedy of the AIDS epidemic by observing a collectively produced object. Perhaps most importantly, the Quilt serves an important socio political function as a gesture towards community based recognit ion of these events, these deaths, and as such, frames them in a specific way.


! 50 Gonzalez Torres's sculptures use none of these strategies, despite, as others have claimed, the works emphasis on interactive participation. Such qualities suggest the produc tion of a collective, generative meaning, a new democracy caused by the artwork, which I argue Gonzalez Torres expressly avoids While it is certainly true that audience participation is created via an interactive situation prompted by his works, he does n ot solicit the audience in a co production of meaning in order to establish a coherent interpretation. Such coherencies suggest a form of knowledge or understanding of the other that his works do not permit or see as possible. Neither do his sculptures, most of which recall or sublimate Ross's body, endeavor to propose a representative image of AIDS or the gay male identity. Similar to Doris Salcedo's sculptural works, hegemonic ideals of understanding alterity which are based on essentialist identity po litics, are avoided in favor of transgressive modes of encounter. Indeed, Gonzalez Torres's works manage to address each viewer so as to produce an individual mode of encounter with his works that is not only entirely private and distinct of any other's, b ut that invokes a phenomenological material engagement of radical intimacy. Inevitably perhaps, the artist frames the experience of the work of art in a variety of ways. Although this frame is the structure by which the audience must encounter the objec t, this does not necessarily preclude an individual experience. In fact, the very frame Gonzalez Torres employs gives preference or attention to the individual over the collective. In "The Spirit of the Gift," Charles Merewether argues that the format Gonz alez Torres uses constitutes a gift giving rather than


! 51 an exchange. The gift economy is thus transformed from one of obligatory return or a strategic gifting in order to receive something in return, to "a gesture of generosity that experiences loss withou t reserve." 78 Merewether continues, "To give back meaning to people is a way of going public," a move that "forces us to acknowledge not only the separation between the public and private, but that such distinctions serve to valorize certain interests and d elegitimate others." 79 This act cannot merely be pared down to altruism,' but is instead a radical act that is resistant to expectations conferred within capitalism or other normative systems of engagement. Thus, this gift is not only constituted by the physical properties that the audience leaves with, though this undoubtedly is the entry point through which the artist experiences the work. Ultimately, the gift is the individual address that each viewer experiences, and the chance to share or contribute a piece of oneself in the fragile space that Gonzalez Torres' works open. This gift, this "going public," is a delicate chance to share. This opportunity is encouraged in part by the insistence the works present in both needing to be translated and resist ing any single translation. Perhaps most significantly, the gaps, openings, and cracks in meaning, that is, that which the viewer must fill, are often the same gaps that reference the body of the artist's lover. This is seen specifically in the candy sculp tures of which the audience can take a piece. What is more intimate than putting something in your mouth? By engaging the individual as opposed to the collective Gonzalez Torres initiates an interaction of meanings between himself and the activated vi ewers


! 52 that "raises the question as to the social, political, and sociocultural background and values of the interpreter." 80 This goes beyond a simple conversation about intent versus interpretation (which meaning' is correct), the long contested autonomy o f the artwork, or the death of the author; instead, this tension between meanings ultimately highlights the role of power and knowledge in co constructing the actions and identities of our bodies. This constructive process, encouraged by the formal strateg ies that the artist employs, which I argue are a figuration is called attention to by the moment of difference which the emancipated viewer must attend to: Gonzalez Torres works are always already inseparable from his own personal experience as a gay male who is making art by and for his dead lover. It is this moment of encountering that I argue places Gonzalez Torres' work as firmly and actively engaged in acts that resist domination. Indeed, even the format of his titles suggests a welcoming of interac tions, a friction between interpretation and intent. In "The Past Recaptured," Russell Ferguson discusses Gonzalez Torres's titles at length, which, for all its beauty, I will quote here: Even the form of his titles always Untitled followed by a parenth etical (and thus conditional) identifier acknowledges that we are offered not an autonomous object complete in itself, but only a fragment taken from a life that continues outside our temporary relation ship with it as a viewer, a life that cannot be sep arated from the context in which it is lived, and that will always spill over any boundaries we might try to draw around it. All the work is therefore in a sense one work, Untitled a work that can never be complete. 81


! 53 It is also what makes them truly pub lic' art. The viewer's private moment of meaning making is affectively connected to the artist's meaning making, intimacy, and love to and for his partner, Ross; as these meanings connect, flow, and move between and amongst each other, they create a possib le space for thinking about new bodily formations. This affect, I argue, is one that is powerful enough to engage with this critique. His public' art, then, is not that which creates a new social formation through a collective experience, but one that pro duces an interaction or confrontation of meaning that then becomes the qualities by which a new social form may be created This means creating a space, making an attempt to radically restructure the ways we think about bodies and representation. In Unt itled (Lover Boys ) 1991 (Fig. 11), the artist offers an endless supply of blue and white candies individually wrapped in cellophane. They sit in the corner of the art space, or sometimes lay out in the center of the floor, but always inviting. The ideal weight of the sculp ture is 355 pounds, though this number inevitably fluctuates with viewer interaction. This number, 355, was not arbitrarily chosen, but is the combined weight of the artist and his lover, Ross, who died of AIDS in 1991. The sculpture thus becomes a portrai t of a relationship, and as such recalls the bodies of the two men represented. Their configured shapes, indistinguishable from each other, merge together to form a single object, the work of art. Note that Gonzalez Torres denies traditional representati on, though the abstraction of the body that he renders points not simply an avoidance or merely a formal choice on the part of the artist, but instead a larger visual impossibility


! 54 The subject' in question here, the abstracted body' is not one but two, a theme that travels throughout Gonzalez Torres oeuvre in such works as Untitled (Perfect Lover s) 1991 (Fig. 12). In Untitled (Perfect Lovers) two identical clocks are set in sync with one another, but the anxiety of eventually having to confront the inev itable the clocks incongruity is always already present from the very moment the clocks were set. Similarly, the candy pile in Untitled (Lover Boys) will only stay at its ideal weight for passing moments throughout the day when it is refilled, perh aps by the hour or evening. This eventual divergence is not evidence of failure, but instead of the very nature of the objects themselves. The disparity in these works is caused by, in the case of the clocks, perhaps the cheapness of the product; for the c andy sculpture, this imbalance is a result of the viewer, taking and consuming the art object. As such, these sculptures could not be failures because their disparity was assumed from the very beginning. In this way, then, the works' cyclical disappearance and re appearance is a symbolization of the life into death, of the inevitable disappearance of all lives, but especially those punctuated early by AIDS/HIV. Indeed, the role of the viewer might also be read in terms of the viewer's active role in the destruction of marginalized bodies. For although AIDS was the ultimate force that destroyed Ross's body, in the present that destruction is recreated as being activated by the viewer. By giving the viewer a role that signifies both destruction and empowerm ent, Gonzalez Torres calls attention to the many roles society has in constructing the meaning of AIDS.


! 55 Thus the subject is a representational impossibility because it is unimaginable; but it is not unimaginable because it is an impossibility. Rather, it is an impossibility because of the hegemonic discourses surrounding representation and the lives that are given the possibility of existing. The Individual Localizing the politics of domination to the individual does not deny its structural quality, no r does it exclude collective action. Rather, by bringing these issues to the level of the personal, as did many post 1960s feminists (the personal is political' ), one invites an examination of all aspects of social and cultural life as components that fab ricate structures of domination. In fact, connecting the political to the personal is a highly radical and empowering act. Arguably, social change can only begin when one identifies the ways that oppression manifests in their personal lives. C onsciousnes s raising serves to increase visibility surrounding all of the ways that domination infects one's experiences, including those ways that the subject herself is the oppressor. Adding this texture to one's understanding of domination is essential; feminist w riter S.E. Smith definitively states, "Intersectionality is not optional." She explains further: "An intersectional lens should inform any critical evaluation of a subject, because these connections are key to understanding the web of oppression that weigh s down us all." 82 This aspect of domination, its latticework that perpetuates the marginalization of


! 56 groups of people, is similarly something that Gonzalez Torres seeks to illuminate through the interaction of meaning that his works encourage. In an interview with Nancy Spector, Gonzalez Torres states: When we start analyzing Supreme Court decisions and public legislation that relate to the body, we start realizing that what we regard as the "private" sphere has never been private. It has alway s been public. The government has an interest in this area.We cannot get any kind of rights now because in the books it's legal to criminalize the way we express love. 83 This system of domination "guarantees its own stability by legitimizing and carrying out open incursions into the (so called) private realm of the individual, thus inadvertently demasking the otherwise covert interpenetration of the private as a public concern." 84 According to Foucault, power and domination materialize through discourse, i nstitutions, and norms, which act both on a macropolitical and micropolitical level. These two spheres might be seen as formulations of the public/private binary, though Foucault maintains that these delineations are in fact arbitrary: the domain of the p rivate' clearly does not preclude oppression, nor does domination on a public' scale preclude resistance. Similarly, the public/private dichotomy is also often a false one, whereby private' is increasingly related to private property and liberal individu alism which is in fact heavily regulated in the public sphere. Gonzalez Torres's focus on the individual is more than simply strategy; it is crucial. In his essay "Michel Foucault, Rameau's Nephew, and the Question of Identity," Karlis Racevskis discusse s the paradox of individual identity as explored by Foucault. He states that "on the one hand, identity is constituted by


! 57 a personal experience and an individual history, it is also and inevitably a product of the otherness of cultural, social, and lingui stic determinants." 85 The individual might thus be interpreted as occupying the space between the private and public, between "history and History, between our self conscious and purposeful use of language and the Logos that makes our speech possible." 86 Fol lowing this notion, I argue that the space that the individual subject occupies is, ultimately, a space of resistance, but is also where oppression is it s most concealed. It is important here to distinguish between what is referred to as liberal individ ualism' and the Foucauldian individual in order to make certain that Gonzalez Torres's individual' is one that is related to the latter rather than the former. Within the political sphere, a rationalist individual subject that forecloses collective identi ties or relationality characterizes liberal thought. Paradoxically, this kind of individualism, which proclaims the plurality of subjects, cannot account for the plural nature of subjects and subjectivity. Following Foucault's notion of subjectivity, howev er, discursive fields of knowledge and normalizing practices construct a formation of both subjection and subjectivation. Through these two processes, the self is a site of contestation, constituted by both dominating disciplines and the individual's a ctiv e construction of the self, rather than upon the basis of liberal rationalism and the enlightenment subject These practices of the self amongst individuals have the potential to become practices of freedom if their goal is the end of domination. In Femin ism, Foucault, and Embodied Subjectivity, Margaret McLaren argues that consciousness raising techniques practiced by feminists in the 1960s and 1970s


! 58 are both a technology of the self and a practice of freedom because it involves both working on the self f or the result of self transformation, while also maintaining the goal of changing socio historical conditions that constitute our subjectivities. 87 Similarly, by creating a frame that specifically addresses the individual, Gonzalez Torres seeks to invoke a process of self transformation that results in a greater change of the formations by which subjects are constituted. Absence as Figuration In 1992, Gonzalez Torres participated in a project for the Museum of Modern Art, "Projects 34: Felix Gonzalez Torr es," for which the artist transposed a photograph of a bed onto twenty four billboards in various locations throughout New York City, called Untitled 1991, (Fig. 13). The black and white photograph depicts a bed with rumpled white sheets. The position of the sheets and pillows, which are impressed with two clear indents, is evidence of the two bodies that were recently present or perhaps long gone, and the bed merely deserted (Fig. 14). Despite the obviously public aspects of the project its placement outdoors, its use of the billboard it would be completely inappropriate to describe this project as merely placing the personal' or private' into the public' context. These works, reserved in their presentation, do not shock the viewer, nor do they insist on any single response. In fact, their formal austerity is powerfully transgressive precisely because it doesn't, in fact, give anything away. As Anne Umland notes, "Rather than being confronted, as we might anticipate, with intimate clues to the a rtist's presence, we are instead presented with


! 59 overwhelming absence." 88 His entire body of work is overshadowed by absence, perhaps even constituted by it: the absence made by Ross's death. Gonzalez Torres uses this profoundly personal loss as a beginning, not an ending, toward understanding his work. Similarly, it is the starting, not ending, point in his interrogation of the socio cultural dominations that establish order and power. As Gonzalez Torres stated, "Someone's agenda has been enacted to define public' and private.' We're really talking about private property because there is no private space anymore. Our intimate desires, fantasies, and dreams are ruled and intercepted by the public sphere." 89 As a gay man, whose sexual or intimate life is leg islated or sanctioned by the juridico discursive framework of power, the image of the bed is a powerful reminder to the bitter sweetness that the bedroom contains. "For beds are where most of us are born, where we most frequently have sex, and where, if we are lucky, we will eventually die," but they are also painful reminders to the contingencies of the identities of the people who sleep there. 90 The bed as an object and idea in fact "produces an endless chain of signifieds which are not limited or circumsc ribed in any way by the visual structure of the photograph itself." 91 The multivalency of the image allows the active spectator to produce meaning. The clear imprint of two bodies that the bed had recently held encourages meaning making. Following his austere and minimal aesthetic, the photograph itself is highly aestheticized; the two toned composition reinforces a sense of ghostly absence. Here Gonzalez Torres employs art of the index, a formal strategy of representation that structures "the visual ob ject as the material trace of


! 60 a fugitive body." 92 This use of the indexical body is again in line with the artist's commentary on the impossibility of representation within dominant visual vocabularies. In "Contemporary Art and Memory," Joan Gibbons argues that the bed billboards seem to "both embody and resolve [Jean Francois] Lyotard's dilemma of unrepresentability," wherein the unrepresentable becomes that which can neither be seen nor made visible. Gibbons connects this to Kant's notion of the sublime, w herein the sublime is the ability to comprehend the incomprehensible. She further claims that the billboards are an index to death, the final force from which the living are barred. However, this connection to death is not one that is without politic or context. Within both scientific and cultural literature, there are numerous signifiers that help construct the meaning' of AIDS. Many of these conceptions refer to or form associations with the gay male body, causing the virus itself and the body it atta cks to be one and the same: the gay male is always already sick, diseased dead Indeed, as Simon Watney points out, This truth' of AIDSresolutely insists that the point of emergence of the virus should be identified as its cause [emphasis his]. 93 Thus, the bodies of people with AIDS have been used as signifiers in an immense discourse concerning the meaning' of the epidemic. These cultural narratives have dictated, inevitably, a strong homophobia associated with AIDS. In Gender Trouble Judith Butler demonstrates at length the constitutive process of subjectivity. She refers to this process as "the exclusionary matrix by which subjects are formed," which "requires the simultaneous production of a


! 61 domain of abject beings, those who are not yet subject s,' but who form the constitutive outside to the domain of the subject." 94 The abject represents the uninhabitable' or unliveable' limits of subjectivity, against which the domain of the subject will circumscribe its own claim to autonomy and to life. Thi s phallocentric model produces male homosexuality as abject. From this point, the gay male body is constructed as a site of permeability and potential leakage through its n on phallic erotics According to Cathy Waldby, an immense political significance ac companies the representation of bodily boundaries, which retain the power to "confer or deny subjectivity as such or at minimum to heavily qualify the status of subjectivity." 95 Thus, subjectivity is contingent upon one's containment according to culturall y specific boundaries; body matter that is excessive to these boundaries contests the logics of individualism, rational, self control, and political status. Bodies that do not follow these regulatory practices are often vulnerable to normalizing discipline s that seek to maintain a hegemonic formation of subjectivity. The move to the indexical, then, not only represents the present impossibility of representing death, but also the impossibility of representing Ross, or any body with AIDS, because signifying discourses have precluded love, intimacy, and mourning. This preclusion occurs prior to any attempt to articulate it's meaning. In "The Spectacle of AIDS," Simon Watney identifies a culturally historical regime produced in the West that circulated an exce ss of images, which reinforced dominant truths' about AIDS and homosexuality. This spectacle ensured that any diverse representation of those with AIDS was suppressed and


! 62 expunged. Here, the image has an enormous amount of importance in reproducing domina nt codings of AIDS. Felix Gonzalez Torres's work does not attempt to simply produce a critique of these associations, nor does it produce positive counter images, but rather is an attempt to disrupt these hegemonic, teleological signifying processes. His w ork shows the intimate connection between representation and discourse, drawing attention to the ideological formations which frame the limits of one's understanding of certain bodies. In Bodies that Matter Butler asks, "What challenges does that exclu ded and abjected realm produce to a symbolic hegemony that might force a radical rearticulation [or refiguration] of what qualifies as bodies that matter, ways of living that count as life,' lives worth protecting, lives worth saving, lives worth grieving ? 96 Gonzalez Torres works from this place of exclusion, from abjection, and enacts that rearticulative challenge, which occurs after the meaning making process is complete. That is to say, the interaction of meanings that he encourages, which occurs subsequent to individual meaning making, is a strategy towards questioning and then subsequently dismantling hegemonic codings of bodies. In a sense, all of his works thus involve a situation of tension and contestation. Untitled (Portrait of Ross in LA) 1991, presents a pile of candy. Its ideal weight is 175 pounds, though this will inevitably diminish as viewers take the wrapped sweets with them, dropped into pockets or mouths. As in Untitled (Lover Boys) the weight of the sculpture carries significance; here it is equivalent to Ross's weight before his immune system started to fail. The body' is rephrased


! 63 as that which the body consum es, and thus of that which it also must be aware. Consumption and destruction are linked by the activated viewer's participation: as she ingests the sculpture, so too does she contribute to its elimination. Erasure is a necessary part of the works, serving not only to address the individual viewer, but it also to highlight the very public processes of erasure that conceal or eliminate marginalized bodies. The degradation of Ross's body is not entirely due to the disease, but also to the role of the public i n the construction of the disease. The sculptures' cyclical disappearance and re emergence is a radical move to subvert these processes of erasure, and they contribute to the joyful gift economy that the works engender. The candy has the possibility of r elaying a number of meanings or invocations: the pleasure of sucking, the rush of sugar released by the candies themselves, the transgressive experience of taking what is not yours art from a gallery, candy from a stranger. "It's a metaphorI'm giving yo u this sugary thing ," Gonzalez Torres said ; you put it in your mouth and you suck on someone else's body. And in this way, my work becomes part of so many other people's bodiesFor just a few seconds, I have put something sweet in someone's mouth and that is very sexy." 97 The level of distance expected and imposed by a work of art within the gallery or museum space is transfigured through the artist's invigorating use of Minimalism's formal vocabulary. His paper stacks,' such as Untitled (Passport) 1991 (Fig. 15) directly reference Donald Judd's stacks,' like his 1967 work Untitled (Stacks) 1967 (Fig. 16), which were usually made with hard materials,


! 64 such as Plexiglas or stainless steel. Indeed, industrial materials have come to be considered one of Minimalism's most distinctive characteristics, as well as the organizational use of rational systems of grids. Such characteristics are highly connected to Minimalism's masculine discourse, in which aggression, power, and authority are ultimately favored as prime modes of expression or art making In "Minimalism and the Rhetoric of Power," Anna Chave describes the rhetoric used by Donald Judd in his article "Specific Objects." She states, "it has long been common approbatory language, even the highest lev el of praise, to describe works of art in terms of the exercise of power: as strong, forceful, authoritative, compelling, challenging or commanding; and the masculinist note becomes even more explicit". 98 In Gonzalez Torres's candy sculptures, "the hard an d unyielding surface of Minimalism becomes an open structure that depends upon an experience of generosity and mutual exchange." 99 His decision to work within a Minimalist glossary is further evidence of an attempt to disrupt or weaken hegemonic rhetoric that proclaims an autonomous, invulnerable form. The sculpture is excessive to its own boundaries; vulnerability holds a paramount place in the works. His sculptures, in many ways, sacrifice themselves to the viewer their destruction is their gift. In Untitled (Passport) 1991, the artist offers the viewer a stack of plain white paper. What is significant here, as with the bed billboards, is the hard whiteness of surface. Initially unyielding, closer examination offers a possibility of something else: t he softness of a bodily imprint or the possibility of travel. This whiteness also symbolize s something that has not yet come to be, but that is


! 65 activated by the viewer taking a piece of paper with them The title, Passport is significant in its invocation of a journey. In a letter to his long time friend and gallery owner Andrea Rosen, Gonzalez Torres writes, "an empty passport for life: to inscribe it with life, love, memories, fears, voids, and unexpected reasons for being. A simple white object against a white wall, waiting." 100 Here one is again reminded of the importance of b oth life and death to his works. With both his paper stacks and candy piles, breaking the surface of the artwork is a metaphor for the permeable body. The viewer is implicated in the leakage of the work, but rather than simply being a witness to this leakage, penetrating the sculptures becomes an act of giving and taking. These works spill over, from the corner of the room or across the floor, giving a physical representation of jo yful excess. Traditional distance between the viewer and the work of art is not reconfigured as that physical or material distance, which is utterly destroyed with the invitation to take, eat; his works establish a level of intimacy wherein sight is not the final means by which one experiences his works. This intimacy is emphasized upon the realization that one is symbolically consuming a body, a gay man's body, which, for all of its associations with shock, horror, or abjection, is, for just a moment, a passing sweetness. In Otherwise than Being or Beyond Essence Emmanuel Levinas claims that the self's nearness to the other constitutes a "vulnerability, exposure to outrage, to wounding" (15). Such vulnerability is not merely created through proximity, bu t the formation of the touch itself which understands the other not as an object that can be grasped but rather something


! 66 that exceeds its relation to the self. The particularity of what is being touched exceeds, according to Levinas, both presence in abs ence in its touching and not touching what is there. The other here refers to a work of art rather than a person Although it is an object, and although the materiality of the object is paramount to the viewer's responsiveness to it, its objectness is t ranscended by the specific mode of touch eating. Eating, a process that recalls sacrifice, offerings, and nourishment, involves the body in such a way that the boundary between the self and the other literally disappears as the candies are consumed. A s t his boundary dissolves, the other does not become that which can be grasped in totality as would be expected Inste ad, the touch that is mediated by that which cannot be grasped creates a new formulation by which the particularity of this other takes precedence in the encounter. That is to say, the other in front of the viewer the particular other can never become the' other because of its particularity. This model of intimacy also suggests that radical intimacy must be the center of a collective feminist politics. To return, briefly, to the individual: notions of essence and naturalness are firmly grounded in the individual identity, wherein the Descartian notion of "I think, therefore I am" is exercised to its fullest. These works show how this figuration of subjectivity is not the single answer to the question of what people can be, of what people are, because of the ways that the viewer singularly interacts with the work. The subject' or body' of the work is scattered throughout pockets, han dbags, bedrooms, perhaps forgotten, perhaps being saved


! 67 for later, but either way they are present in our lives, as a reminder of what isn't, a protest of what is, and promise of what could be.


! 68 Conclusion Artistic practices have always incorporated radical social philosophies into their discourse and their process es of materialization Due to new cultural conditions, the circulation and materiality of art objects are more multivalent than ever before. As movement and autonomy seemingly b ecoming more accessible than ever, new technologies of domination emerge, making it imperative to think of new representational strategies that contest the homogenizing forces of postmodernist cultural conditions. In Chapter One, I present the concept of figurations models of subjectivity that oppressed persons create in order to subvert structures of domination. They are transgressive tools that subjects can take up to imagine new bodily modalities via representational strategies that are outside of the hegemonic formulation of bodies. More specifically, I argue that the visual arts present a unique space to engage with figurations because of their material possibilities. That is, they can more clearly reimagine or sublimate oppressed bodies through the formal strategies of art making and the materials of the art object. The visual art object is also useful to this project in its ability to create a mode of encounter with the other, which I argue is of paramount importance to feminism as a collective po litics. In Chapters Two and Three, I give a close reading to Felix Gonzalez Torres and Doris Salcedo's sculptural works in terms of the ways they employ the concept of the figuration. By presenting the viewer with a particular other, an other with a name, they allow for a mode of encounter


! 69 that is neither singular nor universal. Instead they create an interaction, based on radical intimacy, that leaves room for difference and for what c annot be grasped in the here and now. As feminists, we must not lose our collectivity for the sake of progress. As we move into the future, we need to remain vigilant to the changing forces of domination. Such vigilance will, inevitably, be filled with d ifficulties and struggle, and keeping sight' of what we are working for will be all the more important. As we attempt to keep sight, we must recognize one more thing: all we have to do is look at each other to know what we are fighting for. To critically look, with intimacy, precarity, and love, at each other, to get closer to each other, to touch each other's skin. Never lose sight of the other. She is standing next to you in solidarity.


! 70 FIGURES Fig. 1. Felix Gonzalez Torres, Untitled (Portrait of Ross in LA ) 1991. Cellophane wrapped multi colored candies, endless supply. Ideal weight: 175 lbs. Installed dimensions variable.


! 71 Fig. 2. Kazimir Malevich, Suprematist Composition: White on White 1918. Oil on canvas, 79.4 x 7 9.4 cm. Museum of Modern Art, New York.


! 72 Fig. 3. Jackson Pollock, Lavender Mist 1950. Oil, enamel, and aluminum paint on canvas, 86.5 in x 119 in.


! 73 Fig. 4. Doris Salcedo, La Casa Viuda IV [detail], 1994. Wood, fabric, and bones, 257.5 x 46.5 x 33 cm.


! 74 Fig. 5. Doris Salcedo, La Casa Viuda II [detail], 1993 94. Wood, metal, fabric, and bone, 260 x 80 x 60.5 cm. Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto.


! 75 Fig. 6. Doris Salcedo, La Casa Viuda I 1992 94. Wood and fabric, 258 x 39 x 60 cm. Worcester Art Museum, Worcester MA.


! 76 Fig. 7. Doris Salcedo, La Casa Viuda I [detail], 1992 94. Wood and fabric, 258 x 39 x 60 cm. Worcester Art Museum, Worcester MA.


! 77 Fig. 8. Doris Salcedo, La Casa Viuda II 1993 94. Wood, metal, fabric, and bone, 260 x 80 x 60.5 cm. Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto.


! 78 Fig. 9. Doris Salcedo, La Casa Viuda III 1994. Wood and fabric, two parts, 258.5 x 86.5 x 6 cm; 83.5 x 86.5 x 5 cm. Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto.


! 79 Fig. 10. NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt Ongoing. Fabric, dimensions variable.


! 80 Fig. 11. Felix Gonzalez Torres, Untitled (Lover Boys) 1991. Cellophane wrapped blue and white candies, endless supply. Ideal weight 355 lbs. Installed dimensions variable. ! ! ! !


! 81 Fig. 12 Felix Gonzalez Torres, Untitled (Perfect Lovers) 1991. Clocks, paint on a wall, overall 35.6 x 71.2 x 7 cm. Andrea Rosen Gallery.


! 82 Fig. 13. Felix Gonzalez Torres, Untitled 1991. Billboard, dimensions vary with installation.


! 83 Fig. 14. Felix Gonzalez Torres, Untitled 1991. Billboard, dimensions vary with installation


! 84 Fig. 15. Felix Gonzalez Torres, Untitled (Passport) 1991. White paper, endless copies. 10.2 cm at ideal height, 59.7 x 59.7 cm. Andrea Rosen Gallery.


! 85 Fig. 16. Donald Judd, Untitled (Stacks) 1967. Lacquer on galvanized iron, Twelve units, each 22.8 x 101.6 x 78.7 cm, installed vertically with 22.8 cm intervals. Museum of Modern Art, New York.


! 86 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Chapter One 1 Gayatri Spivak, "The Rani of Sirmur," Europe and its Others ed. F. Barker, Vol. 1 (Essex: Univer sity of Essex Press, 1985) 2 47. 2 Rosi Braidotti, Nomadic Subjects (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994), 4 3 Braidotti 4 4 Mieke Bal, Of What One Cannot Speak: Doris Salcedo's Political Art ( Un iversity of Chicago Press, 2010) 42. 5 Bal 42. 6 Audre Lorde, "Poetry is Not a Luxury," Sister Outsider (Berkeley: Crossing, 2007) 37. 7 Craig Owens, "The Discourse of Others," The Anti Aesthetic (New, 2002) 57 8 Judith Butler, Gender Trouble : Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (New York: Routledge, 1990) 1. 9 Butler, 1990. 134 10 Margaret A. McLaren, Feminism, Foucault, and Embodied Subjectivity (Albany: State University of New Yor k, 2002) 84 11 Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex (New York: Knopf, 2010) 40. 12 Owens 6. 13 Renee Baert, "Poetics of the Body in Feminist Art: Three Modalities" (PhD diss., McGill University, 1 997) 11 14 Anthea Callen, "Ideal Masculinities: An Anatomy of Power," The Visual Culture Reader ed. Nicholas Mirzoeff (NewYork: Routledge, 1998) 603 617.


! 87 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 15 Hazel Carby, "White Woman Listen! Black Feminism and the Boundaries of Sisterhood," The Empire Strikes Back: Race and Racism in Seventies Britain (Hutchinson, 1982), 221. 16 Nan Alamilla Boyd, "Bodies in Motion: Lesbian and Transsexual Histories," A Queer World: the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader (New York: New York University Press, 1997), 148 17 Alami lla Boyd 135 18 John Muckelbauer, "On Reading Differently: Through Foucault's Resistance," College English 63 (2000): 76 19 Pirkko Markula, "Tuning into One's Self:' Foucault's Technologies of the Self and Mindful Fitness," Sociology of Sport 21 (2004): 304 20 Judith Butler, Performance Acts and Gender Constitution : An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory Theater Journal 40 (1988): 519. 21 Chela Sandoval, Methodology of the Oppressed (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2000) 54 22 Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1: An Introduction (Vintage, 1990) 92 23 Foucault, 1990. 93 24 Foucault, 1990. 95 25 Foucault, Michel. "The Ethics of the Concern for the Self as a Practice of Freedom," Ethics: Subjectivity and Truth ( Essen tial Works of Michel Foucault Vol. 1 ) (Penguin, 1994) 283 26 Foucault, 1990. 85


! 88 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 27 McLaren 39. 28 McLaren 84 29 Lois McNay, The Foucauldian Body and the Exclusion of Experience," Hypatia 6 (1991): 137 30 Michel Foucault, Body/Power, Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972 1977 (New York: Pantheon, 1980) 58 31 McLaren 116 32 McLaren 41 33 Foucault, 1994. 283 4. 34 Saul Tobias "Foucault on Freedom and Capabilities," Theory, Culture and Society 22 (2005): 66. 35 Tob ias 68 36 Foucault, 1994. 284 37 Butler, Judith. Giving an Account of Oneself. (New York: Fordham University Press, 2005) 132. 38 McLaren 155. 39 Foucault, 1994. 285. 40 Moya Lloyd, "A Feminist Mapping of Foucauldian Politics," Feminism and Foucault: Reflections on Resistance (Boston: Northeastern University, 1988) 250. 41 Johanna Oksala, "Anarchic Bodies: Foucault and the Feminist Question of Experience," Hypatia 19 (2004): 114. 42 Oksala, 114. 43 Sandoval, 2000. 55


! 89 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 44 Sandoval, 2000. 63. 45 Chela Sandova l. "New Sciences: Cyborg Feminism and the Methodology of the Oppressed," The Cyborg Handbook ( New York: Routledge, 1995) 408. 46 Bar On, Bat Ami, "Marg inality and Epistemic Privilege. Feminist Epistemologies, eds. Linda Alcoff and Elizabeth Potter. (New York: Routledge, 1993) 83. 47 Donna Haraway, "Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective," Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (New York: Routledge, 1991) 186. 48 Haraway 18 5. 49 Haraway 187. 50 Rosi Braidotti 11 51 Butler, 1990. 3 52 Butler, 1990. 2 53 Haraway 187. Chapter Two 54 Elaine Scarry, The Body in Pain : The Making and Unmaking of the World (New York: Oxford, 1985) 2. 55 Scarry 2 56 Scarry 4 57 Scarry 4 58 Doris Salcedo, Interview, Art 21. 07 October 2009.


! 90 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 59 Sandoval, 2000. 75. 60 Sara Ahmed, The Cultural Politics of Emotion (New York: Routledge, 2004) 39. 61 Gayatri Spivak, A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Towards a H istory of the Vanishing Present (Cambri dge: Harvard University, 1999) 283. 62 Lorde 118 63 Amy Hinterberger, "Feminism and the Politics of Representation: Towards a Critical and Ethical Encounter with Others,'" Journal of International Women's Studies (8, 2007) 80. 64 Bal 97 65 Bal 44 66 Sara Ahmed, "This Other and Other Others, Economy and Society 34 (2002): 560. 67 Ahmed, 2002. 561. 68 Ahmed, 2002. 563. 69 Bal, 72. Also see Nancy Princenthal, Doris Salcedo 70 Ahmed, 2002. 572. 71 "Interview: Carlos Basualdo in conversation with Doris Salc edo," Doris Salcedo 2000. 14. 72 Interview, Doris Salcedo 14. 73 Ahmed, 2002. 562. 74 Ahmed, 2002. 563. 75 Ahmed, 2002. 568


! 91 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Chapter Three 76 Interview with Robert Storr, "Felix Gonz alez Torres: Etre un E spion," Art Press no. 198 (Jan 1995): 30. 77 Miwon K won "The Becoming of a Work of Art: FGT and a Possibility of Renewal, a Chance to Share, a Fragile Truce," Felix Gonzalez Torres ed. Julie Ault. (Gottingen: Steidl, 2006) 285 78 Charles Merewether, "The Spirit of the Gift," Felix Gonzalez Torres eds. Amand a Cruz, Susanne Ghez, Anne Goldstein. (Washington, D.C.: Hirshhorn Museum, 1994) 64 79 Merewether 65 80 Rainer Fuchs, "The Authorized Viewer," Felix Gonzalez Torres ed. Julie Ault. (Gottingen: Steidl, 2006) 106. 81 Russell Ferguson, "The Past Recaptured," Felix Gonzalez Torres eds. Amanda Cruz, Susanne Ghez, Anne Goldstein. (Washington, D.C.: Hirshhorn Museum, 1994) 28. 82 S.E. Smith, "Intersectionality is not Optional." Web log post. This Ain't Livin', 6 December 2011. tionality_is_not_optional.html 83 Nancy Spector, "Travel as Metaphor," Felix Gonzalez Torres ed. Julie Ault. (Gottingen: Steidl, 2006) 2 58 84 Fuchs 106


! 92 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 85 Karlis Racevskis, "Michel Foucault, Rameau's Nephew, and the Question of Identity." The Final Foucault eds. James William Bernauer and David M. Rasmussen. (Philosophy and Social Criticism, 1987) 21 86 Racevskis 21 87 McLaren 160 88 Anne Umland, Projects 34: Felix Gonzalez Torres Felix Gonzalez Torres ed. Julie Ault (Gottingen: Steidl, 2006) 24 4 89 "Felix Gonzalez Torres: All the Time In the World," Interview. Robert Nickas. Flash Art November/December 1991. 39 90 Simon Watney, "In Purgatory: The Work of Felix Gonzalez Torres," Felix Gonzalez Torres ed. Julie Ault. (Gottingen: Steidl, 2006) 34 2 91 Kelly T. Keating, "The Absent Body: Felix Gonzalez Torres, AIDS, Homosexuality, and Representation." Web log post. The Great Within, 11 November 2009. 92 Lisa Saltzman, Making Memory Matter: Strategies of Remembrance in Contemporary Art (Chicago: University of Chicago, 2006) 3. 93 Simon Watney, "The Spectacle of AIDS," The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader (New York: Routledge, 1993) 204. 94 Judith Butler, Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex," (New York: Routledge, 1993) 3 95 Cathy Wald by, AIDS and the Body Politic: Biomedicine and Sexual Difference Psychology Press, 1996, 45. 96 Butler, 1993. 16

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! 93 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 97 In Spector, 147 50. 98 Anna C. Chave, "Minimalism and the Rhetoric of Power," in Day, Power: Its Myths and Mores p 116 140, p 131 99 Ferguson 29 100 Letter. From Felix Gonzalez Torres to Ross Laycock. D ated February 14, 1992. In Felix Gonzalez Torres, ed. Julie Ault. (Gottingen: Steidl, 2006) 160

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! 94 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Works Cited Ahmed, Sara. The Cultural Politics of Emotion New York: Routledge, 2004. Print. Ahmed, Sara. "This Other and Other Others." Economy and Society 31.4 (2002): 558 72. Web. Alamilla Boyd, Nan. "Bodies in Motion: Lesbian and Transsexual Histories." A Queer World: The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader Ed. Martin Duberman. New York: New York UP, 1997. 134 52. Print. Baert, Renee. "Poetics of the Body in Feminist Art: Three Modalities." Diss. McGill University, 1997. Print. Bal, Mieke. Of What One Cannot Speak: Doris Salcedo's Political Art Chi cago: University of Chicago, 2010. Print. Bar On, Bat Ami, "Marginality and Epistemic Privilege." Feminist Epistemologies Eds. Linda Alcoff and Elizabeth Potter. New York: Routledge, 1993. 83 101. Beauvoir, Simone De. The Second Sex New York: Knopf, 2010. Print. Braidotti, Rosi. Nomadic Subjects: Embodiment and Sexual Difference in Contemporary Feminist Theory New York: Columbia UP, 1994. Print. Butler, Judith. Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex." New York: Routledge, 1993. Print. Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity New York: Routledge, 1990. Print. Butler, Judith. Giving an Account of Oneself. New York: Fordham University

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! 95 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Press, 2005. Butler, Judith. "Perform ative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory." Theatre Journal 40.4 (1988): 519 31. JSTOR Web. 18 Sept. 2011. Callen, Anthea. "Ideal Masculinities: An Anatomy of Power." The Visual Culture Reader Ed. Nicholas Mirzoef f. New York: Routledge, 1998. 603 16. Print. Carby, Hazel V. "White Women Listen! Black Feminism and the Boundaries of Sisterhood." The Empire Strikes Back: Race and Racism in Seventies Britain Birmingham: Hutchinson &, 1982. 211 34. Print. Chave, Anna C. "Minimalism and the Rhetoric of Power." Power: Its Myths and Mores in American Art, 1961 1991 Ed. Holliday T. Day. Indianapolis: Indianapolis Museum of Art, 1991. 116 40. Print. Deleuze, Gilles, and FŽlix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and S chizophrenia Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1987. Print. "Doris Salcedo: Third World Identity." Interview. Art 21 PBS. 07 Oct. 2009. Television. Ferguson, Russell. "The Past Recaptured," Felix Gonzalez Torres eds eds. Amanda Cruz, Susanne Ghez, Anne Goldstein. Washington, D.C.: Hirshhorn Museum, 1994. 25 34. Foucault, Michel. "Body/Power." Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972 1977 ed. Colin Gordon. New York: Pantheon, 1980. 55 62. Print.

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! 96 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Foucault, Michel. "The Ethics o f the Concern for the Self as a Practice of Freedom." Ethics: Subjectivity and Truth (Essential Works of Michel Foucault, Vol. 1) ed. Paul Rabinow. London: Penguin, 1994. 281 301. Print. Foucault, Michel. The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1: An Introduction Vintage, 1990. Print. Foucault, Michel. The History of Sexuality, Vol. 2: The Use of Pleasure. Vintage, 1990. Print. Foucault, Michel. The History of Sexuality, Vol. 3: The Care of the Self Vintage, 1988. Print. Fuchs, Rainer. "The Authorized Viewer," Felix Gonzalez Torres ed. Julie Ault. Gottingen: Steidl, 2006. 105 115. Print. Gibbons, Joan. Contemporary Art and Memory: Images of Recollection and Remembrance London: I. B. Tauris, 2007. Print. Gonzalez Torres, Felix. Interview with Robert Nickas. "Felix Gonzalez Torres: All the Time in the World." Flash Art November/December 1991. Gonzalez Torres, Felix. Interview with Robert Storr. "Etre un Espion." ArtPress January, 1995. 24 32. Haraway, Don na. "A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century." Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature New York: Routledge, 1991. 149 82. Print. Haraway, Donna. "Situated Knowledges: The Science Questi on in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective." Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The

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! 97 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Reinvention of Nature New York: Routledge, 1991. 183 202. Print. Hinterberger, Amy. "Feminism and the Politics of Representation: Towards a Critical and Ethical En counter with 'Others'" Journal of International Women's Studies 8.2 (2007): 74 83. JSTOR Web. 15 Mar. 2012. Huyssen, Andreas. "Doris Salcedo's Memory Sculpture: Unland: The Orphan's Tunic." Present Pasts: Urban Palimpsets and the Politics of Memory Stan ford: Stanford University, 2003. 110 21. Print. "Interview: Carlos Basualdo in conversation with Doris Salcedo." Interview. Doris Salcedo New York: Phaidon, 2000. 8 35. Print. Keating, Kelly T. "The Absent Body: Felix Gonzalez Torres, AIDS, Homosexuality and Representation." Web log post. The Great Within, 11 Nov. 2009. Web. 10 Oct. 2011. Kwon, Miwon. "The Becoming of a Work of Art: FGT and a Possibility of Renewal, a Chance to Share, a Fragile Truce." Felix Gonzalez Torres ed. Julie Ault. G ottingen: Steidl, 2006. 281 316. Print. Letter. From Felix Gonzalez Torres to Ross Laycock. Dated 14 February 1992. In Felix Gonzalez Torres ed. Julie Ault. Gottingen: Steidl, 2006. 160. Levinas, Emmanuel. Time and the Other Pittsburgh: Duquesne University, 2003. Print. Levinas, Emmanuel. Otherwise than Being or Beyond Essence Dodrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

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! 98 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lloyd, Moya. "A Feminist Mapping of Foucauldian Politics," Feminism and Foucault: Reflections on Resistance eds. Irene Diamond, Lee Quinby. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1988. 240 260. Lorde, Audre. Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches Berkeley: Crossing, 2007. Print. Markula, Pirkko. "Tuning into One's Self:' Foucault's Technologies of the Self and Mindful Fitness." Sociology of Sport 21 (2004): 302 321. McLaren, Margaret A. Feminism, Foucault, and Embodied Subjectivity Albany: State University of New York, 2002. Print. McNay, Lois. "The Foucauldian Body and the Exclusion of Experience." Hypatia 6 .3 (1991): 125 39. JSTOR Web. 11 Jan. 2012. Merewether, Charles. "The Spirit of the Gift." Felix Gonzalez Torres Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. 1994. 61 75. Muckelbauer, John. "On Reading Differently: Through Foucault's Resistan ce." College English 63.1 (2000): 71 94. JSTOR. Web. 14 Jan 2012. Oksala, Johanna. "Anarchic Bodies: Foucault and the Feminist Question of Experience." Hypatia 19.4 (2004): 99 121. JSTOR Web. 2 Feb 2012. Owens, Craig. "The Discourse of Others: Feminists and Postmodernists." The Anti Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture Ed. Hal Foster. New, 2002. 57 82. Print. Racevskis, Karlis. "Michel Foucault, Rameau's Nephew, and the Question of Identity." The Fina l Foucault eds. James William Bernauer and David M. Rasmussen. Philosophy and Social Criticism, 1987. 21 33. Print.

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