Recent graduate Shannon Brunette (BA History of Art, 2017) has been named a shortlisted runner up in the Association for Art History's prestigious annual national Undergraduate Dissertation Prize.
Shannon’s dissertation, entitled "The Abject Object: Dialectics of Decay and the Vulnerable Body", examined the worth of reconstructing socially vulnerable identities from fragments of material waste or ephemeral objects in the work of American artists Edward Kienholz, Bruce Conner and David Hammons. It explored the way in which each artist redefined the identities of marginalised individuals, juxtaposing the preconceived stereotypes assigned to them with an alternative voice which seeks to provide a more accurate narrative of their oppression. The dissertation argued that suffering and prejudice are depicted as an inseparable component of this re-composed identity, and that this irreparable damage is highlighted through a rhetoric of deterioration. Reading these vulnerable bodies via Julia Kristeva’s model of the abject, Shannon explored the consequences of establishing harmful boundaries which render the individual invisible, via references to ideas about disposability, objectification and worth, the relationship between victim and perpetrator, and the blurring of material and bodily boundaries via the process of decay.
Posted on Wednesday 20th December 2017