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Addressing the other womanTextual correspondences in feminist art and writing$
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Kimberly Lamm

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781526121264

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526121264.001.0001

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Adrian Piper’s textual address

Adrian Piper’s textual address

(p.29) 1 Adrian Piper’s textual address
Addressing the other woman

Kimberly Lamm

Manchester University Press

Chapter 1 begins by analysing Adrian Piper’s engagement with the textual dimensions of Conceptual Art in the late 1960s and the ways in which it aligned with her work in Kantian philosophy to develop the aesthetic and perceptual conditions that allow for an encounter with what she identifies as the ‘singular reality of the “other.”’ The chapter then turns to the artwork Piper produced after 1970, a year of political upheaval in which she began to work with text and writing to expose the visual pathologies of racism and sexism, which she identifies as ‘defensive rationalizations’. By tracing the transformations of her oeuvre across the 1970s, this chapter demonstrates how Piper’s artwork enacts the ways in which racism and sexism call black women into narrow forms of visibility while also exposing the historically entrenched habits for projecting fears and fantasies on to black women’s bodies. To bring the black feminist stakes of Piper’s artwork into relief, I read it through Hortense Spillers’s (1987) concepts of ‘telegraphing’ – the means by which iconic images of black women have been transmitted across American culture – and ‘ungendering’ – the specific form of abjection inflicted upon black women in the transatlantic slave trade that reverberates into the present..

Keywords:   Conceptual Art, Single Reality of the Other, Visual Pathologies of Racism and Sexism, Textual Address, Defensive Rationalisation, Telegraphing, Ungendering

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