Self Fragmentation via the Art Experience: Integrating Dissociative Phenomena into Self-Portraiture

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Findlay, Elisabeth A

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Platz, William M

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2022-12-21
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Abstract

This practice-led arts research explores dissociative phenomena, which is generally characterised as a detachment from reality and an experience of self as fragmented. The research engages with a discourse concerning dissociation and psychoanalytic ideals concerning trauma and the registration of the I/non-I split. Self-portraiture is expanded enacting processes of detachment and distanciation as the artist which emblematically transfers the experiences of dissociation, derealisation, depersonalisation, and trauma into strategies of subject-oriented praxis. If dissociation is a cognitive mechanism that defends the brain from trauma, then a dissociative practice uses a methodology that approaches the incomprehensible, aspiring for experience beyond the capacity of language. This methodology embraces dysfunctional qualities of traumatic narrative and its communication ambiguating subjectivity and interpretation in the by-proxy artist/audience experience. Praxis has informed a theoretical trajectory of poststructuralist inquiry. Intersubjectivity and language is traced back to Freidrich Schlegel’s auto-productive literary philosophical expressions of Romantic irony whose self-referential literature simultaneously compliment and contradict, create and destroy. In conjunction with this theme of fragmentation, this supporting document of practical work is structured in the style of bricolage research.

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Thesis (PhD Doctorate)

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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

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Queensland College of Art

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

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Subject

self-portrait

dissociation

self-fragmentation

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