'Fear of Protrusions/ Fear of Ambivalence' at Performing Across the Frontiers of Fear, De Montfort University, June 2018

Working on ideas around compulsive heterosexuality, motherhood and childlessness in Austrian Avant-Garde, feminist artist Renate Bertlmann's work.

Many thanks to Alissa Clarke for inviting me. Photo by Natalie Raven


I currently work on the use of protrusions in the video work of feminist avant-garde artist Renate Bertlmann (Tender Touches, 1976) in relation to desire, excess and sexuality. I think about the ways in which protrusions in her work acknowledge the boundaries of the body and transgress these boundaries. 

Protrusions refuse to be contained;they evade control and function outside any system of rules or signification. They are uncontrollable and seem to point towards something invisible, or something we do not want to talk about; something that could be thought of as abject, or at once alluring and repulsive. 

Protrusions,I argue, are political, they protest, refuse containment or control. Like sexuality, they are excessive, superfluous and unruly. They render the invisible, visible and they say something about the outside and the inside, the self and the other.


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