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Imitatio Christi : the Christic body in performance

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Imitatio Christi : the Christic body in performance

Bobiy, Mikaela (2005) Imitatio Christi : the Christic body in performance. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

In this paper, I endeavor to make a case for the Christic masochistic performance through an examination of selected works by four contemporary artists. In order to do so, I will conduct an investigation into the meaning of the Christic figure in contemporary times, and more precisely, in visual culture---why appropriate this visual motif and to what ends? What is the audience looking for in the Christic masochistic performance? In approaching these questions, I will examine a number of Christic rituals and iconographic motifs, namely, Eucharistic practice, as it is played out in a number of performances by Chris Burden, Marina Abramovic, Orlan and Bob Flanagan. Also included, is an investigation into the uses of the relic, the icon, the arma Christi (etc.), as they are integral to the Christic masochistic performance. This will be followed by a brief inventory of various devotional practices, from imitatio Christi, to acts of self-mortification and asceticism, which form the basis for many of these performances. In approaching these issues, this paper will be arguing for an ambivalent Christic figure, one that assumes the roles of mother and father, and incorporates what has been construed as both ''male'' and ''female'' devotional practices. I will also look at how these practices, and the Christic figure in general, correspond to the established model of masochistic performance. In short, this paper examines what I consider to be a lack, or lacunae, in performance art studies, namely, the reluctance to speak about the Christic body in performance. It is my contention that the centralization of the Christic figure, and its rituals in contemporary art, is paramount, and can be related to what Luc Ferry has recently identified as the divinization of the human, thereby further opening up the discussion regarding the meaning of the Christic subject in visual culture and in society in general.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art History
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Bobiy, Mikaela
Pagination:vii, 273 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Art History
Date:2005
Thesis Supervisor(s):Asselin, Olivier
ID Code:8552
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:28
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 15:23
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