GESTURES OF FAILURE: Performances of otherness, masochism and unbecoming in Thea Djordjadze's exhibition our full
Research output: Thesis › Master's Thesis
This thesis makes use of Georgian artist Thea Djordjadze’s exhibition our full to explore the close connection between artistic failure and “otherness”. Combining queer theory with theories of the gesture, I examine how frameworks of artistic quality are maintained through repetitive forms, postures and themes that serve to value certain ways of seeing above others. By a careful study of the way our full poses passivity, negativity, masochism and unbecoming, failure is analysed as a disruption of language. The discussion investigates the visual process in which objects unavoidably become validated in relation to the specific norm of success that is obsolete within the context in which the object is presented. A process in which expressions that differ in significant ways from prevailing discourse, inevitably become constructed as lacking (in relation to the norm), thus as failures. Comparing theories of failure in contemporary art with Agamben’s notion of the gesture, the thesis also puts pressure on the tendency in debates about failure to discuss the concept solely as signification, as something already perceivable in language. The thesis argues that such an approach does not acknowledge the crucial importance of understanding failure as speechlessness.