Kate Newman

The Abject Woman

Gaining inspiration from the 1970’s Performance Art and Feminist Art Movement, this piece challenges the traditional Western male gaze through the concept of the abject; the feeling of revulsion when the boundaries we use to categorise the world are transgressed, (Julia Kristeva, The Powers of Horror, 1980).

Thus when women are anything but the patriarchal ideal they are seen as monstrous or abject. Assertiveness in a woman is masculine. Passion is hysteria.

Here, the work transgresses by showing the inner and outer as one, challenging the boundaries of convention. Normal bodily functions usually hidden are instead put on show and performed as acts of rebellion- shock is used as a method to confront. Fundamental conditions of the feminine are explored through self-representation and consequently cross the boundary of standard expectation.

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