Emma Rosson BA (Hons) Fine Art 2020
The abject body is excluded and best personified by women, repressed in the collective unconscious of patriarchal culture. My aim is to explore this statement in my practice through the use of symbolism and uncanny imagery or mediums, primarily animatronic creatures representing anthropomorphic ‘women’ in highly exaggerated scenarios of feminine abjection, puppets utilising the thin border between object and living being to further emphasise any sense of corporeal discomfort. I aim to provoke feelings of abjection through these highly exaggerated scenes, the intention of which being to hold the viewer complicit in their own negative reactions towards natural female function, challenging oppressive beliefs ingrained by patriarchal doctrine through my work.
Each dioramic scene represents a different concept, whether it be social or biological, in which patriarchal doctrine finds reasoning to define the feminine body as a source of abjection, inspired by theories of which are further described in detail in the works of Julia Kristeva, Barbara Creed and Grizelda Pollock to name but a few, as well as my own personal dissertation. The anthropomorphic creatures in these scenes symbolise further repression through representations of metamorphosis in the face of taunt and trauma, inspired by concepts featured in Greek mythology and the works of Ovid, the female creatures having partially transformed into dejected rabbits, animals simultaneously symbolic of both prolific sexuality through breeding and as acting as the epitome of frequently hunted and intensely victimised prey.
The addition of animatronics to these puppets is a recent curiosity of mine, the overall importance lying in the additional abject theory that they provoke, as by blurring lines between object and durational piece, alongside those of living and object, an example of a boundary-based conflict like that upon which many examples of Kristevian abjection depend upon.