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A cultural illness : women, identity and eating problems in Faith Ringgold's 'Change' series

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A cultural illness : women, identity and eating problems in Faith Ringgold's 'Change' series

Beaudoin, Lori-Ann (1999) A cultural illness : women, identity and eating problems in Faith Ringgold's 'Change' series. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The female body is a "surface" that is inscribed with a plurality of meanings. It stands as a metaphor of our culture and in relation to the construction of femininity. Residing in a consumer culture obsessed with appearances, or the "proper" representation of self, the female body has become a status symbol that has been transformed from a fixed natural given, to a shapeable cultural product. The painted narrative quilt series Change: Faith Ringgold's Over 100 Pound Weight Loss Performance Story Quilt by contemporary African-American artist Faith Ringgold expresses profound issues about women, identity, and eating problems. The Change series is a testament to the continuing struggle that Ringgold has with food. Eating problems are a current and prevalent epidemic that affect many women. Having suffered from a compulsive overeating condition, Ringgold has used this series to voice her experience and concerns with eating problems. The woman's desperate struggle for self-identity against various social hegemonies sometimes results in a troubled relationship with food and culture. Far too often, the effects of eating problems debilitate women's entry into culture and society both physically and psychologically. Through the use of photomontage and text, Ringgold's quilts articulate her eating patterns from the early 1930s through to the 1980s. She discloses her eating habits of the different "women", (all of them, of course, being herself) who are portrayed on the quilts, and voices the construction of femininity, identity, and eating problems as signs of a cultural illness.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Beaudoin, Lori-Ann
Pagination:viii, 112 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:Art History
Date:1999
Thesis Supervisor(s):Lerner, Loren
ID Code:882
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:15
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:17
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