The architect’s scalpel: The monstrous digital futures of Alexa Wright’s Precious

Hainge, G. (2007) The architect’s scalpel: The monstrous digital futures of Alexa Wright’s Precious. Social Semiotics, 17 3: 327-340. doi:10.1080/10350330701448652

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Author Hainge, G.
Title The architect’s scalpel: The monstrous digital futures of Alexa Wright’s Precious
Formatted title
The architect’s scalpel: The monstrous digital futures of Alexa Wright’s Precious
Journal name Social Semiotics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1470-1219
1035-0330
Publication date 2007
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/10350330701448652
Volume 17
Issue 3
Start page 327
End page 340
Total pages 14
Editor Cadwallader, J.
Murray, S.
Place of publication Abingdon, UK
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Collection year 2008
Language eng
Subject C1
410203 Photography
751003 Visual communication
Abstract This paper examines a selection of the photographic works of Alexa Wright, which demonstrate a fascination with the monstrous. While commenting on the works dealing with disabled bodies or bodies displaying a pathology of some kind - and in which the pathological or genetic condition is reconfigured in such a way that it can no longer be abjectified - this paper is particularly interested in Wright's works dealing with recontextualised images of invasive surgery, as they appear to deploy the same processes seen in her works dealing with more obviously monstrous bodies into the heart of the normative body. The advantage of dealing with these works in particular, it is argued, is that this approach might bypass perceived dangers inherent in other important approaches such as that proposed by the work of, for example, Margrit Shildrick - for methodologies such as hers are such that the encounter that is able to force a reconsideration of the hermetically closed and guarded spaces of identity and sovereign subjectivity of the normative body is an encounter with that which the normative embodied subject does not want to encounter but, rather, continually to abject. This paper therefore argues for a properly archaeological investigation or intervention of the normative body and argues that Wright's works Geo and Precious figure in a visual medium precisely such an encounter. This paper thus proposes an analysis of these works that takes into consideration not only their manifest content, but also their digital mode of production, which forces us to reflect critically on our identity politics in a digital age.
Keyword Digital photography
disabled bodies
normative bodies
monstrosity
visual studies
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

 
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Created: Fri, 23 Nov 2007, 11:05:31 EST by Mahmood Ali on behalf of School of Languages and Cultures