The final exhibition in the 2013 Graduate School Gallery program, ‘THE QUEER BODY (to be confirmed)’ brings together the work of three students – MFA candidates Danica Knezevic and Jessica Sanders, and PhD candidate Jane Polkinghorne. Curated by Nicholas Tsoutas, ‘THE QUEER BODY’ explores representations of the female body in the process of transformation and in the context of fluid sexuality and queer identity.
Danica Knezevic, Dance with Me, video still, 2013
Let’s start with a brief description of your individual research projects and what you’re each working on…
Jessica: I have been producing large-scale digital collages which explore concepts of identity and transformation, because I’m interested in pluralistic understandings of the self and how the conscious adoption of various specific identities can be used to communicate.
Danica: I’m really interested in the negotiation between what is visible and invisible. My work is influenced by psychoanalytical theory, particularly the process of mirroring in form identity and empathy.
Jane: My practice ranges across mediums and outcomes including digital imaging and photography, video, sculpture, performance, blogging and narrative film, frequently in collaboration. I use humour to respond to representation and as a feminist, bodily, humorous, interpretation of bodies, gender and the world.
What kind of ideas are you trying to investigate through this particular installation?
Jane: Big Head is a reinterpretation of Belgian Surrealist Rene Magritte’s 1935 painting La Viol (The Rape), replacing the objectified flattened feminine body-as-face with my own body parts as activated wobbling, real and hairy. The work plays with ideas of televisual representation of the feminine as un-idealised, as the body ‘looking back’ at the viewer and responding to the process of representation. It also is an attempt to undermine the brutality of the original work with its title La Viol calling up the idea of male gaze as violent and sexualised. Calling the work Big Head invokes the idea of a giant phallus as well as the idea of a giant wobbling woman looming over the viewer, but my version of La Viol giggles and slurps, laughing and ridiculing the sexual objectification of the gaze as implied by Magritte’s painting.