Pathways of Felt-visuality in the New Wunderkammer: Producing Empathic Engagements with Body Imagery from Contemporary Art and Medicine

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Wise, Patricia

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Keane, Jondi

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2015
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Abstract

This thesis proposes an alternative practice for looking at, understanding, imagining and representing bodies, and a potential context for fostering and realising such a practice. This alternative practice could transform our use of images in order to produce thoughtful, empathic and compassionate responses to bodies. Such a practice, as an ethical and emotional mode of engagement with body images, strives to create connections and reconnections between subject and object, self and other, individual and communal; to reconnect that which is thought, felt and experienced with the materiality of bodies. This dissertation examines the capacity for particular types of body imagery in contemporary visual art to reveal alternative practices of engagement. The bodies that feature in the images discussed reference and/or use the medicalised body rendered as object (drawing on medical and scientific information, practices and imaging-technology). Through these discussions a central paradox is revealed: that the body rendered as object, recontextualised in contemporary art, generates affective intensity and reconnects object with subject.

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Thesis (PhD Doctorate)

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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

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School of Humanities

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The author owns the copyright in this thesis, unless stated otherwise.

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Public

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Body image in art

Body image and medicine

Feeling and human bodiy

Contemporary art

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