Bodies, Self image, visual culture
Arts and Humanities
How does the named body refigure itself? Bodies are evidentiary. They are documentary. We position our bodies and juxtapose them in foreground to a tableau other bodies; self-images are traced against other images of identity. We position our bodies to tell stories—to tell self-histories, sometimes false, sometimes true, always incomplete. For each of us, our thinking—our image of self—tends to cohere around an identifiable, repeatable pattern of discursive meanings that we first inherit and then overwrite with newly experienced and refreshed meanings. Life stories are structures in flux, deconstructions. The source of injurious self-image appears to be wound up in the cultural construction of “abnormality.” The reconstitution of a spoiled identity is effected in the presentation of extra-normative figures of self, selves outside the boundaries of a normalizing frame, selves less traveled. The author makes the argument that a body tells its own life in spite of all manner of stereotyping and propaganda, offering glimpses of humanity, poetry overcoming monstrosity.
Rolling, J. H. (2004). Figuring myself out: Certainty, injury, and the poststructuralist repositioning of bodies of identity. Journal of Aesthetic Education, 38 (4), 46-58.