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Abject VisionsPowers of Horror in Art and Visual Culture$
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Rina Arya and Nicholas Chare

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780719096280

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719096280.001.0001

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The fragmented body as an index of abjection

The fragmented body as an index of abjection

(p.105) 6 The fragmented body as an index of abjection
Abject Visions

Rina Arya

Manchester University Press

Rina Arya’s essay investigates the amorphous body that is in-between different states, such as the human-animal, by examining abjection in relation to the fragmented body. She starts by exploring the significance of the boundary in relation to the body proper before moving on to consider what happens when we look at distorted or fragmented bodies that do not adhere to the normal conventions of how we read a body. In the ordered body, abjection occurs at its margins, which corresponds to the points of greatest vulnerability and the body is regulated accordingly. Abjection is harder to establish in the case where the body is fragmented and does not conform to being an organically ordered and functioning body. How are we to think about the boundary when it is not clear where the body starts or ends? Arya considers the cases of two twentieth century artists, Hans Bellmer and Francis Bacon, who each employ fragmentation in order to release the somatic and expressive potential of the body but also to critique longstanding traditions of representation in art history.

Keywords:   Francis Bacon, Hans Bellmer, Fragmentation and the body

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