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Comedy and humour
Brigitte Rollet

context, and on the way women could voice their demands. The café-théâtre companies, mainly that of the Café de la Gare, and later that of the Splendid, would be characterised by the desire for subversion and transgression by means of caricatures based on all levels of the French bourgeoisie. What is more, the café-théâtres would offer comediennes the opportunity to express themselves on taboo subjects. According to Da Costa in his Histoire du Café-théâtre, la mode, l’actualité, étaient-elles au féminisme? Le Café

in Coline Serreau
Ory Bartal

. This discourse of otherness establishes itself insidiously, through a fetishistic relationship formed between the user and the irregular objects, at the heart of hegemony – in the ‘living room’ of the collector, who is traditionally a person of a certain status and power. In order to present this ‘otherness’ in objects, Hironen adopted a transgressive visual strategy derived from two different sources that offered deviant erotica, the grotesque and ridiculous figures: the first was camp visual expression, rooted in the queer theory of the postmodern ‘other’. The

in Critical design in Japan
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Dominic Johnson

, active dismissal) by historians and theorists of contemporary art and performance does little to undermine the aesthetic boldness, historical perspicacity and political charge of There is a Criminal Touch to Art. I ask what Ulay’s reluctant mastery of extremity tells us about the apparent limits of the aesthetic and of avant-gardism in the 1970s and the effects of their transgression in terms of aesthetics, appropriation and identity. Daylight robbery On Sunday 12 December 1976, at one o’clock in the afternoon, Ulay entered the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin

in Unlimited action
Open Access (free)
Tania Anne Woloshyn

of both individual and nation, held eugenic beliefs brings such tensions to the (skin’s) surface. With the photogenic bodies of Hanovia’s ‘Homesun’ users guiding my analysis, this chapter investigates suntan as simultaneously a visual marker of recharged health and a troubling act of racial transgression during a period of developing eugenic fervour in Britain and Europe. I  Understanding suntan The role

in Soaking up the rays
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Fairground, cabaret, exhibition
Elza Adamowicz

turns out to be a male figure (Picabia) wearing a false beard; faces are shot upside-down; a female dancer’s arms dissolve to water, and water dissolves to eyes. Throughout the film the human figure is rendered unstable and vulnerable: body and nonbody merge, gender distinctions are relativised, body limits are transgressed. The second part of the film develops a seemingly more coherent narrative, in which a funeral procession for the hunter is euphemised as a carnival procession: the hearse, like a float, is drawn by a camel; bourgeois mourners in top hats are

in Dada bodies
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Author: Brigitte Rollet

Coline Serreau is one of the most famous female French directors alive, not only in France but also abroad. This book is devoted not only to some relevant biographical aspects of Serreau's personal and artistic life, but also to the social, historical and political context of her debut. It deals with the 1970s' flavour of Serreau's work and more especially with the importance of politics. Taking intertextuality in its broadest sense, it assesses the strong literary influence on the tone, genre and content of Serreau's films and dramas. The book is concerned with the cinematographic genres Serreau uses. It provides a description and an analysis of Serreau's comedies, within the wider perspective of French comedies. The book also deals with the element of 'family' or community which is recurrent in Serreau's films and plays. During the 1980s, Serreau's career moved towards fiction, and she worked both for the cinema and the theatre. Serreau often underlines her family's lack of financial resources. The book considers the specificity of French cinema in the 1970s before analysing in more detail Serreau's first film. Serreau's work on stage and on big or small screens was strongly influenced by the political mood which succeeded May '68 in France. The book also discusses the idea of utopia which was the original theme of Serreau' first documentary and which is central to her first fiction film, Pourquoi pas!. Female humour and laughter cannot be considered without another powerful element: the motivation of often transgressive laughter.

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Activism and design in Italy
Author: Ilaria Vanni

Precarious objects is a book about activism and design. The context is the changes in work and employment from permanent to precarious arrangements in the twenty-first century in Italy. The book presents design interventions that address precarity as a defuturing force affecting political, social and material conditions. Precarious objects shows how design objects, called here ‘orientation devices’, recode political communication and reorient how things are imagined, produced and circulated. It also shows how design as a practice can reconfigure material conditions and prefigure ways to repair some of the effects of precarity on everyday life. Three microhistories illustrate activist repertoires that bring into play design, and design practices that are grounded in activism. While the vitality, experimental nature and traffic between theory and praxis of social movements in Italy have consistently attracted the interest of activists, students and researchers in diverse fields, there exists little in the area of design research. This is a study of design activism at the intersection of design theory and cultural research for researchers and students interested in design studies, cultural studies, social movements and Italian studies.

Rethinking art, media, and the audio-visual contract
Author: Ming-Yuen S. Ma

There is no soundtrack is a specific yet expansive study of sound tactics deployed in experimental media art today. It analyses how audio and visual elements interact and produce meaning, drawing from works by contemporary media artists ranging from Chantal Akerman, to Nam June Paik, to Tanya Tagaq. It then links these analyses to discussions on silence, voice, noise, listening, the soundscape, and other key ideas in sound studies. In making these connections, the book argues that experimental media art – avant-garde film, video art, performance, installation, and hybrid forms – produces radical and new audio-visual relationships that challenge and destabilize the visually-dominated fields of art history, contemporary art criticism, cinema and media studies, and cultural studies as well as the larger area of the human sciences. This book directly addresses what sound studies scholar Jonathan Sterne calls ‘visual hegemony’. It joins a growing body of interdisciplinary scholarship that is collectively sonifying the study of culture while defying the lack of diversity within the field by focusing on practitioners from transnational and diverse backgrounds. Therefore, the media artists discussed in this book are of interest to scholars and students who are exploring aurality in related disciplines including gender and feminist studies, queer studies, ethnic studies, postcolonial studies, urban studies, environmental analysis, and architecture. As such, There Is No Soundtrack makes meaningful connections between previously disconnected bodies of scholarship to build new, more complex and reverberating frameworks for the study of art, media, and sound.

Visualising a changing city

Delving into a hitherto unexplored aspect of Irish art history, Painting Dublin, 1886–1949 examines the depiction of Dublin by artists from the late-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. Artists’ representations of the city have long been markers of civic pride and identity, yet in Ireland, such artworks have been overlooked in favour of the rural and pastoral, falling outside of the dominant disciplinary narratives of nationalism or modernism. Framed by the shift from city of empire to capital of an independent republic, this book chiefly examines artworks by of Walter Frederick Osborne (1857–1903), Rose Mary Barton (1856–1929), Jack Butler Yeats (1871–1957), Harry Aaron Kernoff (1900–74), Estella Frances Solomons (1882–1968), and Flora Hippisley Mitchell (1890–1973), encompassing a variety of urban views and artistic themes. While Dublin is renowned for its representation in literature, this book will demonstrate how the city was also the subject of a range of visual depictions, including those in painting and print. Focusing on the images created by these artists as they navigated the city’s streets, this book offers a vivid visualisation of Dublin and its inhabitants, challenging a reengagement with Ireland’s art history through the prism of the city and urban life.

Raymond Pettibon’s drawing-writing
Tilo Reifenstein

This chapter focuses on ekphrastic writing in the work of the American artist Raymond Pettibon – mostly pen-and-ink drawings with varying amounts of written texts – in order to explore and question the implicit opposition between the verbal and the visual that underlies many critical definitions of ekphrasis. It demonstrates how Pettibon introduces textual fragmentation and nonlinearity through his complex responses to and paraphrasing of ekphrastic authors, which opens up writing to the contingencies usually associated with drawing. Similarly, Pettibon’s texts are surveyed for typographic, orthographic, and chirographic characteristics, which emphasize writing’s status as simultaneously visual and verbal. The artist’s texts thus appear as though they have been written twice – graphically and verbally – marking them both inside and outside language. This transgressive power of the graphic in writing is traced via Jacques Derrida’s notion of the trait, that stroke or feature crucially linked to the gaze, which marks the space between the visible and invisible. The chapter proposes that this quality makes Pettibon’s work reducible to neither the discourse of language nor that of the image.

in Ekphrastic encounters