Mimesis: Judith Butler, Visual Practice, Tragic Art

Ganani-Tomares, Dafna. 2007. Mimesis: Judith Butler, Visual Practice, Tragic Art. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]


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Abstract or Description

The project grounds the use of mimesis in my video art practice. In the written element I query equivalence between mimesis and performativity in Judith Butler's conception; I consider the tragic and hyperbolic faculties of these, as ways of promoting expansion of context in received convention. My video clips have performance in them and mime destructive regimes in mainstream conventions of visual culture, of sexual identity and of political position, to challange these. They mobilize convention and deviation from it, through ineptitude of performance or my ambiguous relation to the convention that I use. Butler conceives the generative possibility in regulation (prohibition and/or "law). This is my source for prioritizing failure, and conceiving mimesis a practice of power in modification.

Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe is an additional source in my writing, and Luce Irigaray a hovering presence. They are deployed to support my conviction that speculative theory mimes tragic art; Hegelian dialectical philosophy and Freudian psychoanalytic discourse founded in tragic art endow a mutual system of logic and belief that mobilizes rejection of 'difference'. In these tragic discourses mimesis links death and desire. As a force in hyperbole and the constitutive site of all discursive and artistic conventions or tropes, mimesis may suspend as much as confirm the very truths it promotes. Mimesis may turn or exceed anything that can be mimed - I propose.

Throughout the project (art practice and written element) I ask - 'how is it possible to re-conceive the terms of the representational conventions to which I object without sharing in the mechanisms that demote those terms?'

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Additional Information:

A thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the University of London


Mimesis; tragic art; hyperbole; Judith Butler

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Date Deposited:

25 Oct 2007

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 15:19



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