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Opening Political Bodies: Gender Performativity as Resistance Under Pharmacopornographic Capitalism

  • Author / Creator
    Halpern, Daniel
  • This thesis is an investigation of the performative reconstitution of a queer body and subjectivity in art, and how this allows for not only a reclamation of identity, but also complicates and begins dismantling the present pharmacopornographic model of capitalism. I accomplish this through a close reading of Paul Preciado’s Testo Junkie, and other texts such as Jean-Luc Nancy’s writings on community and José Esteban Muñoz’s Disidentifications. Through the lenses provided by this theorists, I examine the radical implications contained in the work of Ron Athey, Emma Frankland, and Claude Cahun, who each place their queer bodies at the core of their artistic practices. Finally, I explore queer grief as a disidentifactory practice, and locate the importance of mourning in each of these artists’ work. Ultimately, this thesis is a testament to the importance of queer art as a means to destabilize the seemingly all-encompassing pharmacopornographic system which seeks to reduce and demarcate subjects along legible binaries. By showcasing the ways in which liberatory and performative artistic practices allow for the reappropriation of a queer subjectivity, I demonstrate that the harmful narratives around gender, which have been normalized by the pharmaceutical and pornography industries, are dangerous fictions. And thus, this thesis is a small step in the formation of a queer world.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2023
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-4dbz-9s50
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.