the-abject

Me on stage for the #crownchampionshipsofcosplay last night! Neither me nor any of my friends won anything, but I was mostly there for shop promo to be honest. Stan Lee’s handlers took me aside for a photo with him earlier in the day so I count that as a win 😜 the Kree way is supreme!💙 #cosplay #C2E2 @c2e2 #ronantheaccuser #gotg #gotgcosplay (photo by Corey Crowley)

“A wound with blood and pus, or the sickly, acrid smell of sweat, of decay, does not signify death. In the presence of signified death–a flat encephalograph, for instance–I would understand, react, or accept. No, as in true theater, without makeup or masks, refuse and corpses show me what I permanently thrust aside in order to live. These body fluids, this defilement, this shit are what life withstands, hardly and with difficulty, on the part of death. There, I am at the border of my condition as a living being. My body extricates itself, as being alive, from that border. Such wastes drop so that I might live, until, from loss to loss, nothing remains in me and my entire body falls beyond the limit–cadere, cadaver. If dung signifies the other side of the border , the place where I am not and which permits me to be, the corpse, the most sickening of wastes, is a border that has encroached upon everything. It is no longer I who expel. ‘I’ is expelled. The border has become an object. How can I be without border?”

Julia Kristeva, Powers of Horror

Don’t ever show up here pretending to care about me again!
— 

TVD (Ms. Bonnie Bennett)


Despite all their moments together, Bonnie felt he essentially faked it. That he only pretended to care about her to get what he wanted. He hurt her, again, but this time, there was more at stake. This time, HER FEELINGS for him were REAL; and he made her feel like she’d been duped. She spent four months falling in love with him while trapped in the prison world, knowing full well his feelings for her might only extend to friendship, and the last thing she expected was this. So, is it any wonder that she’d be upset he pretended to care?

And here, after she sent Damon flying in the opposite wall, in what could only be called, the ultimate showdown…after she, in fact, declared that she was putting herself FIRST…here stood Bonnie watching Damon retreat from her room in abject defeat. Oh, but the way her eyes trailed after his retreating form, spoke volumes.

Yes, they bristled with determination but they also glistened with heartbreak. In mere seconds, I caught an inkling of her uncertainty…of her vulnerability, in the minute shift of her eyes and was transfixed. She stood there and watched the only man who could light her up like con Edison on Christmas day, and she looked utterly alone. Damon was the only man…heck, the only person, whom she could play with and be herself, and when she needed that safety net, he betrays her.

And, what kills me about the scene below is that, minutes earlier, she flat out told him that she knows him, probably better than he knows himself. Heck, she basically said, she knew him like the back of her hand…and he STILL. DID. NOT. GET. IT. She’s practically telling him how she feels, and it completely went over his head but I digress.

Bonnie had, finally, won the battle for herself. She’d finally learned to love and accept herself, and made that known to the only person she’s ever really been honest with. She was finally putting herself first, and Damon needed to understand that. It needed to be said, OUT LOUD, for both to hear. He also needed to know there were boundaries he could not overstep with Bonnie…and to respect it. 

Personally, those scenes between Bonnie and Damon were the highlight of TVD. Very charged, very intense, and well performed (by both actors).

youtube

You had to know that I was fond of you

Fond of Y-O-U

Turn On Me, The Shins

Definition: THE ABJECT

THE ABJECT, abjection (Kristeva): Our reaction (horror, vomit) to a threatened breakdown in meaning caused by the loss of the distinction between subject and object or between self and other. The primary example is the corpse (which traumatically reminds us of our own materiality); however, other items can elicit the same reaction: the open wound, shit, sewage, even a particularly immoral crime (e.g. Auschwitz). Kristeva posits that abjection is something that we must experience in our psychosexual development before entering into the mirror stage, that is, the establishment of such boundaries as self and other or human and animal. See the Kristeva module on the abject.Kristeva also associates the abject with the maternal since the establishment of the boundary between self and other marks our movement out of the chora. See the Kristeva module on psychosexual development.

Taken from here.

In that compelling, raw, insolent thing in the morgue’s full sunlight, in that thing that no longer matches and therefore no longer signifies anything, I behold the breaking down of a world that has erased its borders: fainting away.
—  Julia Kristeva: The Powers of Horror

cloudnoise asked:

I'm a complete novice to psychoanalytic theory, but I anticipate a working knowledge of the discipline will be necessary to my graduate work on "The Represented Body." I tell you this to 1) thank you for providing a very digestible crash course on psychoanalysis, and 2) ask your opinion on an important but unapproachable (at present) theorist informed by psychoanalysis: Julia Kristeva. Have you read her, and if so, how do you respond to her work?

Thank you, sorry for the novel!

I apologize, as of yet I have not read any Julia Kristeva. My friend has read her and because of our conversations I am familiar with some of her theory and terminology but I cannot claim any expertise. From what I know about her, she has a very rigorous understanding of Lacan and any engagement with her is sure to facilitate your understanding of his theory. As well, as far as I can tell from my conversations, she highlights the maternal and adds a feminine edge to the otherwise ‘phallocratic’ discourse of Lacan. Finally, to quote my friend: “she writes really hot”. So, for him anyways, she seems to be a sexy writer, that is, if listening to a Franco-Bulgarian woman’s extended discourse on horror, hysterical revulsion and the abject gives you a 'bit of a hard.’ Her writing did actually seem rather 'fleshy’ and 'bodily.’ But, like I said, I have had a limited engagement

anonymous asked:

Good morning Professor! I've just stepped into this page, and sort of , well, "enjoyed" the article about Mr. Whishaw's thinness. Putting that on one side, the question goes to myself, and I wonder if you could answer it in a bit of your spare time. The last paragraph took my attention, because I have rejected since I was a child, everything connected with the physical side of maternity, specially the items you have mentioned. Could you explain that? Thank you very much. Ana Julia (Argentina).

Good evening, Ana Julia! And thank you for this question. I thought at first you were referring to the last paragraph of the entire essay, which is about the protective, nurturing tinge given to our desire by a slight, sensitive, ethereal man like Whishaw. But I think you’re actually referring to the bit about Julia Kristeva’s notion of the maternal abject. Essentially, it’s a psychoanalytic theory of the gross-out factor: in its most simplistic terms, in order to conceive of itself as an independent being, a child has to reject the maternal body that’s nurtured it, and so becomes disgusted by all those effluvia associated with childbearing and motherhood. Here’s a good summary from Michael Johnson, PhD:

“The abject marks the moment when we separate ourselves from the mother, when we first recognize a boundary between the self and the other. We must abject the maternal, the object which has created us, in order to construct an identity. This means that on a subconscious level the maternal is horrifying.

"Kristeva argues that we have a fear of the abject throughout our lives. The abject consists of all the things that threaten our sense of cleanliness and propriety. It includes anything vile or disgusting, like the interior workings of the body, bodily fluids or waste. Kristeva argues that being forced to face the abject is inherently traumatic. For example, she says that encountering a corpse is repulsive because you’re forced to face an object which has been violently cast out of the cultural world, having once been a person, a subject. A corpse reminds us that we are ultimately just organic matter that will rot away. Kristeva writes:

"Refuse and corpses show me what I permanently thrust aside in order to live. These body fluids, this defilement, this shit are what life withstands, hardly and with difficulty, on the part of death. There, I am at the border of my condition as a living being. (Powers of Horror, p3).”

 

While I find that the notion of the abject explains some stuff about how culture represents bodies and motherhood, I don’t think it is very useful in thinking about people’s actual experience of those things. I myself am absolutely not one for childbearing or mothering. Not part of my makeup. But I don’t the reasons why have much to do with abjection.

I hope this was helpful, Ana; I have to say that you actually got me thinking more about desire and nurturance and masculinity, which is a subject for another post. Thank you so much!

Abjection - The Abject

The term abjection literally means “the state of being cast off”. In usage it has connotations of degradation, baseness and meanness of spirit; but has been explored in post-structuralism as that which inherently disturbs conventional identity and cultural concepts. […] 

In Critical Theory

Drawing on the French tradition of interest in the monstrous (e.g., novelist Louis-Ferdinand Céline),[2] and of the subject as grounded in filth (e.g., psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan),[3] Julia Kristevadeveloped the idea of the abject as that which is rejected by/disturbs social reason - the communal consensus that underpins a social order.[4] The “abject” exists accordingly somewhere between the concept of an object and the concept of the subject, representing taboo elements of the self barely separated off in a liminal space.[5]

According to Kristeva, since the abject is situated outside the symbolic order, being forced to face it is an inherently traumatic experience, as with the repulsion presented by confrontation with filth, waste, or a corpse - an object which is violently cast out of the cultural world, having once been a subject.[6] Thus the sense of the abject complements the existence of the superego - the representative of culture, of the symbolic order:[7] in Kristeva’s aphorism, “To each ego its object, to each superego its abject”.[8]

From Kristeva’s psychoanalytic perspective, abjection is done to the part of ourselves that we exclude: the mother. We must abject the maternal, the object which has created us, in order to construct an identity.[6] Abjection occurs on the micro level of the speaking being, through his/her subjective dynamics, as well as on the macro level of society, through “language as a common and universal law”. We use rituals, specifically those of defilement, to attempt to maintain clear boundaries between nature and society, the semiotic and the symbolic, paradoxically both excluding and renewing contact with the abject in the ritual act.[9]

The concept of abjection is often coupled (and sometimes confused) with the idea of the uncanny, the concept of something being “un-home-like”, or foreign, yet familiar.[10] The abject can be uncanny in the sense that we can recognize aspects in it, despite its being “foreign”: a corpse, having fallen out of the symbolic order, creates abjection through its uncanniness[11] - creates acognitive dissonance.

By extension, in contemporary critical theory, “abjection” is often used to describe the state of often-marginalized groups, such as women, unwed mothers, people of minority religious faiths,prostitutesconvictspoor and disabled people.[12] The term space of abjection is also used, referring to a space that abjected things or beings inhabit. […]

In Art

The roots of Abject art go back a long way. Painters express a fascination for blood long before the Renaissance but it wasn’t until the Dada movement that the fascination with transgression and taboo made it possible for Abject Art, as a movement, to exist. It owes a considerable debt to Antonin Artaud’s “Theatre of Cruelty”. Well before the Abject Art movement was given a name by theWhitney MuseumNew York in 1993, the movement towards Abject Art had long been in existence.

It was preceded by the films and performances of the Viennese Actionists, in particular, Hermann Nitsch, whose interest in Schwitter’s idea of a gesamtkunstwerk led to his setting up the radical theatre group, known as the Orgien-Mysterien-Theater which involved the use of animal carcasses and blood shed in a ritualistic way. Nitsch served time in jail for blasphemy before being invited to New York in 1968 by Jonas Mekas where he organised a series of performances which greatly influenced the radical New York art scene.

Other members of the Viennese ActionistsGunter Brus, who began as a painter, and Otto Muehl collaborated on performances. The performances of Gunter Brus involved publicly urinating, defecating and cutting himself with a razor blade which had a powerful influence on later Abject Art from the 1980s and 1990s. Rudolf Schwarzkogler who committed suicide by jumping from a window in 1969 is better known for his photos dealing with the Abject. The growth of extreme performance art coincided with the radicalisation of politics in the late 1960s.

In the late 1960s Performance Art took off in New York. For a short period, Carolee Schneeman made performances that led to her inclusion in the 1993 show at the Whitney Museum of Abject Art. In the early 1970s Mary Kelly caused a scandal in 1976 when she exhibited dirty nappies at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. This was followed by the concentration on the abject which is implicit in punk rock[citation needed] and, in particular, the performances of Genesis P. Orridge and GG Allin which involved spit, urine, blood, semen and feces.

In the 1980s and 1990s, fascination with the Powers of Horror, the title of a book by Julia Kristeva, led to a second wave of radical performance artists working with bodily fluids including Ron AtheyFranko BLennie Lee and Kira O’ Reilly.

In the late 1990s, the abject became an important theme of radical Chinese performance artists Zhu Yu and Yang Zhichao.

The abject also began to influence the work of a number of mainstream artists including Louise BourgeoisHelen ChadwickGilbert and GeorgeRobert GoberKiki Smith and Jake and Dinos Chapman who were all included in the 1993 Whitney show.[17]

Other important artists working with abjection include New York photographers, Joel Peter Witkin, whose book Love and Redemption is made up entirely of photos of corpses and body parts, and Andres Serrano whose piece entitled Piss Christ caused a scandal in 1989 when it received $15,000 dollars of public funding.

We begin to see fractures in the image, a transparency which allows an eruption of the real, and a subversion of the image Orientalism creates. Thus the Orient becomes the abject, destabilizing Western ideology, and instantiating the process of excrementation via which the image projected upon the Orient by the neo-colonial gaze is subverted and excreted, thus allowing the Orient to become the real and resist such a construct of reality.