The invisible within: Dispersing masculinity in art

Angelaki 20 (1):71-83 (2015)
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Abstract

:Visual culture – art, film, entertainment, advertising – are saturated with images of normative heterosexual masculinity. They form visual narratives that project a largely coherent kind of masculinity where heterosexual men are shown to be creative and powerful; they initiate heroic action, take the moral high ground and preserve traditional roles and the status quo. This widely extensive visual field, peopled with normative images of masculinity, also affects and infiltrates the domain of art exemplified by Jackson Pollock and abstract expressionism which, to the present day, continues to project masculinity as the originator and pioneer of aesthetic value. This essay reviews feminist and queer artists’ image making that appropriates the myth of homogeneous masculinity and turns it into a medium for a variety of creative and hybrid explorations. I argue that Deleuzoguattarian concepts such as becoming-woman and becoming-imperceptible help us to understand this molecularisation of masculinity. And importantly in the other direction, these feminist and queer image makers allow us to understand and explore more fully these concepts.

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Gregory Minissale
University of Auckland

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