Jenny saville and a feminist aesthetics of disgust

Hypatia 18 (4):23-41 (2003)
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Abstract

: This essay examines an aesthetics of disgust through an analysis of the work of Scottish painter Jenny Saville. Saville's paintings suggest that there is something valuable in retaining and interrogating our immediate and seemingly unambivalent reactions of disgust. I contrast Saville's representations of disgust to the repudiation of disgust that characterizes contemporary corporeal politics. Drawing on the theoretical work of Elspeth Probyn and Julia Kristeva, I suggest that an aesthetics of disgust reveals the fundamental ambiguity of embodiment, allowing us to critically attend to the aesthetic and cultural objectification of the female body

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