Agender Aesthetics: Body is not an Image, but a Fluid
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body without organs

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Toropova, A. (2020). Agender Aesthetics: Body is not an Image, but a Fluid. Corpus Mundi, 1(2), 37-61.


The article focuses on the analysis of agender aesthetics as a postmodern project to abandon gender identity. The article considers the ideological presumptions of the human body, gender and sex denaturalization project, within the framework of post-structural researches. Axiological grounds of the traditional identity understanding criticism have been identified. Lacan, Kristeva, Baudrillard revealed the mechanism of identity formation as an artificial construct attached to corporeality. Butler proposed a strategy to elude identification, formulated as the concept of performativity. These ideas were reflected in the works of fashion designers who share postmodern values. The article discloses the mechanisms of agender body designing by the fashion house of Gucci. Agender aesthetics is based on the idea of rejecting gender identity and proclaiming the body as the unique unit exhibiting itself in a performative manner. The artistic task of agender aesthetics is to develop the visual plasticity of human body. The main techniques for this task are the following: combining things with ideologically opposite vestimentary codes, removing the elements of clothing with rigid gender connotations from the usual context and fitting them into a new visual series to give them gender neutrality. The article problematizes the aesthetic grounds of the agender style and concludes that postmodern rethinking of human body not as an image, but as a fluid, goes beyond the elitist art practices and becomes relevant to the mass consciousness of Western people.
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