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dc.contributor.advisorPlatz, William M
dc.contributor.authorAnderson, Adam J
dc.date.accessioned2021-08-03T03:41:20Z
dc.date.available2021-08-03T03:41:20Z
dc.date.issued2021-07-23
dc.identifier.doi10.25904/1912/4295
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10072/406522
dc.description.abstractThis is a practice led thesis comprised of an exhibition of artworks and an exegesis. The thesis focuses on the ineffably undertowed nature of identity and how that nature may be expressed through transcendental performance that positively engages fetish and costume. While the foundational concepts of performative and essentialist identity formations are well established in artistic and socio-political discourses, I argue that identity is not an entirely performative social construct nor a pre-existing essentialist stagnation. Moreover, the dominance of performative and essentialist discourses in contemporary artistic investigations of identity are problematically binary and limited to a Western context. I therefore engage with texts and artworks that examine identity from beyond this scope. Using an embodied understanding of transcendence that relates to the active relationship between an individual and all that exists, I will demonstrate that my performance of identity is an innately transcendental state of becoming that cannot and should not be formulated methodically. My transcendental performance of identity and understanding of identity’s undertowed nature is parsed by fetish and costume. My cultural background positions me between Western, Middle Eastern, and North African perspectives—which accounts for my deviation from performative and essentialist conceptions of identity—and enables me to engage positively with fetish. Historically and theoretically marginalised, the paradigm of fetish establishes that my research is similarly marginal and located between multiple dominant bodies of knowledge. Instead of its traditionally negative connotations, in this thesis fetish is understood as a special order of objects into which transcendental elements of identity are invested, embodied, and interacted with through performance. Fetish is thus understood as a personal and powerful device of transformation that engages with identity’s undertowed nature. Working in tandem with fetish is my use of costume as a practice and concept that unifies interior and exterior experiences of identity with the material world. Costume acts by cohering and hyperbolically manifesting identities through a myriad of methods. Identity’s embodiment through costumed performance enables individuals to address the ambivalence and ambiguity of identity, discover occulted facets of themselves, and gain respect for the difference of others. This research proposes that identity is ultimately unknowable. However, by engaging with its undertowed nature, fetish and costume offer tangible methods of experiencing and expressing fantastical selves that are unencumbered by conventional and oppositional considerations of authenticity and social responsibility. This thesis will therefore contribute significantly to the discourse of identity in contemporary performance art. The culmination of the visual and textual research done in this thesis exceeds purely Western conceptions of identity. It sublimates fetish from its strongly negative uses in academic texts and redirects identity, transcendence, fetish, and costume towards the primacy of the human body as a locus of rigorous examination of the relationships between people and themselves, each other, and the world around them.
dc.languageEnglish
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherGriffith University
dc.publisher.placeBrisbane
dc.subject.keywordsExhibition
dc.subject.keywordsArtworks
dc.subject.keywordsIdentity
dc.subject.keywordsTranscendental performance
dc.subject.keywordsFetish
dc.subject.keywordsCostume
dc.titleThe Undertowed Nature of Identity: Transcendental Performance Through Fetish and Costume
dc.typeGriffith thesis
gro.facultyArts, Education and Law
gro.rights.copyrightThe author owns the copyright in this thesis, unless stated otherwise.
gro.hasfulltextFull Text
dc.contributor.otheradvisorBurton, Laini M
gro.identifier.gurtID000000024456
gro.thesis.degreelevelThesis (PhD Doctorate)
gro.thesis.degreeprogramDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
gro.departmentQueensland College of Art
gro.griffith.authorAnderson, Adam J


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