Skip navigation

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Spectral-fragile-(un)homely: The haunting presence of Francesca woodman in the House and Space2 series
Authors: Kisiel, Anna
Keywords: Francesca Woodman; Bracha L. Ettinger; matrixial theory; the uncanny; homeliness; fragility; photography; blurry subjectivity
Issue Date: 2017
Citation: AVANT, Vol. VIII, No. 2 (2017), s. 145-156
Abstract: In the House and Space2 photographic series, Francesca Woodman captures the environments that may be considered disruptive; still, it is a female model—in her inconstant poses, always partially blurred or hidden—that holds the viewer’s attention. The pictures therefore evoke a twofold sense of obscurity, since their unfriendly interiors are occupied by the uncanny, semi-absent yet ceaselessly present, dis-appearing woman, who turns out to be Woodman herself. Woodman’s spectral presence and the unhomely locations she haunts—being simultaneously the photographer and the object of her photographs—are examined in this article by means of Bracha L. Ettinger’s matrixial theory. Ettingerian psychoanalysis, juxtaposed with Roland Barthes, Sigmund Freud, and Jacques Lacan, provides the tools to challenge the dominant non-affirmative understanding of Woodman’s self-portraits as works of disappearing and failing subjectivity: an understanding whose obvious point of support is found in the artist’s biography. Instead, Ettinger’s system makes it possible to look at this oeuvre through the prisms of fragility, homeliness, and the potential emergence of blurry, ghostly subjectivity. Moreover, the article examines the ways in which Woodman resists the divisions imposed on her and the medium she uses (such as the Barthesian triad of Operator, Spectator, and Spectrum, and the dichotomies of me / the Other and subject / object).
DOI: 10.26913/80202017.0112.0011
ISSN: 2082-6710
Appears in Collections:Artykuły (W.Hum.)

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Kisiel_Spectral_fragile_unhomely.pdf910,95 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
Show full item record

Uznanie autorstwa - użycie niekomercyjne, bez utworów zależnych 3.0 Polska Creative Commons License Creative Commons