The ‘Feminine Un-canny’: A strategy for the deconstruction of the homely in contemporary, solo feminist performance art

Dyson, Gillian (2020) The ‘Feminine Un-canny’: A strategy for the deconstruction of the homely in contemporary, solo feminist performance art. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis is a written exegesis to support knowledge discovered through practice-based research, with the accompanying submission of three solo performance art works entitled: Seven Tables, Biting the Plate, and Placing, Carrying, Breaking. The project seeks to demonstrate the deconstruction of the feminine homely through a feminist and uncanny practice expressed as a study of the relationship between the female body and material objects. The research asks if both the strategy and resulting uncanny or disturbing condition can be specifically identified and articulated to better understand the concept of the (un)homely.

Working with an initial exploration of Sigmund Freud’s 1919 essay ‘The Uncanny’, the research project goes beyond a simple dramaturgy based on tropes of the uncanny to examine the emerging considerations for why the material subjects of the study—everyday objects and the female body—can affect an uncanny condition in performance? The study finds that the implications for deconstruction of the homely rest in the presentation of formless and boundaryless qualities that resists delineation as an expression of uncanny homely/unhomely duality.

The research is located in relation to social domestic histories and work by other artists and is contextualised through feminist theory and related critical analysis. As such, this research offers new insights into structures and strategies for a deconstructive practice that will be of concern to those interested in performance theory and practice, especially in relation to feminist theory and practice, the uncanny and the performing body, material objects, abjection and the formless.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Feminism, performance art, domestic, uncanny, theatre, art, table, crockery, home, psychoanalysis, objects, abjection, formless, deconstruction, solo.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts
Supervisor's Name: Lavery, Professor Carl and Price, Dr. Victoria
Date of Award: 2020
Depositing User: Dr Gillian Dyson
Unique ID: glathesis:2020-81690
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2020 16:59
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2022 08:05
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.81690
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