Painful Aesthetics: Embodiment, Appropriation, and Fame in the Production of a Global Tattoo Community

Siorat, Cyril. 2010. Painful Aesthetics: Embodiment, Appropriation, and Fame in the Production of a Global Tattoo Community. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

Text (Embodiment, Appropriation, and Fame in the Production of a Global Tattoo Community)
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Abstract or Description

This study is concerned with the ways in which a number of individuals, from diverse
socio-cultural backgrounds, create and maintain a series of networks on a global stage based on the shared practice and business of tattooing. Tattoo artists and their fans are all involved in numerous interlinked movements during which they engage in a succession of exchange relationships with tattooees but also with other tattoo artists. The two main locations this research focuses on are the island of Moorea in French Polynesia and Northern Europe. The research considers the importance of events such as international tattoo conventions and festivals in the determination of status in the hierarchical structure of the global tattoo community on both the local but also global levels. Despite the creation of a global community, such cross-cultural interactions are not without raising issues regarding cultural appropriation and claims to a particular local authenticity. In that sense, the global tattoo community is involved in several tensions as well as numerous collaborative projects and business partnerships. It is through all these transactional processes that this community can take form for individuals from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds. Tattoos enable individuals to act upon others' decision making, to entice them into an exchange relationship which will inevitably create some form of reciprocity, and a dialogical process of creation and maintenance of personal and collective valuation. This is because both parties become reciprocal agents of each other's value definition. Some chapters look at individuals and their actions on both the local and global stages, while others review the role of the tattoo media and of other publications related to the tattooing practice in this process of representation and creation of a global tattoo community.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


Tattoo, Moorea, French Polynesia, Northern Europe, global, community, Embodiment, Appropriation, Fame

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Date Deposited:

10 Jul 2020 14:53

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 12:51


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