<ul><li>Aileen Wilson </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher’s College, Columbia University </li></ul><ul><li>2012 </li></ul>
Flesh & Self : The Body and Violence as a Locus of Meaning in Adolescent Art Work
‘ The body is obsessively centered upon. It is contained and delineated, becomes irresistible force and immoveable object. The body is enlarged and diminished, turned invisible or made of stone, blown to atoms or reshaped at will. The body defies gravity, space and time, it divides and conquers, it turns to fire, lies in water, is lighter than air……the brain sticks out of the top of his head, on display as part of a visible, external body…the body is an accident of birth, or a freak of nature, or a consequence of technology gone wild. The superhero body is everything-a corporeal, rather than a cognitive, mapping of the subject into a cultural system.’ (Bukatman, S. (1994). X-Bodies: The torment of the mutant superhero. In Uncontrollable bodies: testimonies of identity and culture. p. 94)
Contemporary gothic is more obsessed with bodies than in any of its previous phases: bodies become spectacle, provoking disgust, modified, reconstructed and artificially augmented…Gothic bodies are frequently presented to us as simulations, as replacements of the real…idealized, perfected, sterile, monstrous.” (Spooner, 2006, in Contemporary Gothic).
Dimitri: Ghosts could be real and because…well, there could be spontaneous combustion …Spontaneous combustion, it really only happens to women, young women. People say it is when your body explodes and vanishes and what is left is ash and your shoes. [The] only thing left are your shoes. For some reason your shoes do not go anywhere…. Dimitri: It’s true. People say…Spontaneous combustion is when your body explodes and vanishes. Jamiel: I have a question for you Dimitri. If an explosion would have happened, would your soul and the thoughts have stayed? Dimitri responds [ignoring Jamiel’s question]: People say it is an explosion, but it was more likely an implosion. Which is basically the energy in an explosion but the energy would have happened in one part of something and whatever it is on everything would be sucked into it. The body just goes somewhere and the shoes are left and ash. Sometimes there is no ash and sometimes there is ash, depending on who it is and the clothes they are wearing…
<ul><li>Jamiel-That is why there are ghosts ‘because it is nighttime. And then the night…. haunted house haunts, meaning the ghosts come out and they scare people who are [unclear on tape]. So I think you should add that –add a haunted house with some ghosts in it. </li></ul><ul><li>Lindsay-I am not going to add a haunted house. </li></ul><ul><li>Jamiel-I guess she is scared of haunted houses. </li></ul><ul><li>Lindsay-No, it is a realistic graveyard. I am not going to put like… it’s more realistic. There is not going to be a haunted house in a graveyard. </li></ul><ul><li>Jamiel- There wouldn’t be ghosts in a graveyard either. </li></ul><ul><li>Lindsay-It’s not as if people go to a graveyard to be in a haunted house. I mean a ghost and skeleton isn’t realistic but there wouldn’t be a haunted house in a graveyard. </li></ul><ul><li>Dimitri- It’s realistic and not realistic. </li></ul><ul><li>Jamiel-Actually in realistic there wouldn’t be a ghost but there would be skeletons underneath the earth. </li></ul>
“ The monster’s body…is a machine that, in its Gothic mode, produces meaning and can represent any horrible trait that the reader feeds into the narrative. The monster functions as monster, in other words, when it is able to condense as many fear-producing traits as possible into one body.” (Halberstram, 2007, in Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters ). “ The grotesque displacement of the order of the body is a mainstay of popular art. Cartoons and horror films provide numerous examples of it…The ambiguous humanity of these distorted images create a tension between attraction and repulsion.” (Mike Kelley, 2003, in Foul Perfection: Thoughts on Caricature ).