The gendered sacredness of Lawrence Buttigiegs
In this paper I discuss the three-dimensional, body-themed
box-assemblages that I have been producing for the past five years.
These artefacts are a result of my endeavour to transform my studio
practice into a collaborative process with Idoia, a specific woman
who has been its cynosure for the better part of my artistic career.
Moreover, mindful of the extent and merit of her demiurgic contribution
to my art work, I venture to say that, within its context, she not
only epitomises but also, on a purely imaginary level, transcends
womanhood. Although in appearance the box-assemblages are reminiscent
of polyptychs, tabernacles and reliquaries, they contain representations
of our bodies and objects related to theman idiosyncrasy
through which they engender a confluence of the erotic and the religious
[fig. 1]. This artefact acts as an elaborate representational device
which goes beyond the mere portrayal of the subjects in question
and complexly disrupts the traditional complementary positions of
the viewing subject and viewed object. In the process, an alternative
mode of looking at the human body, especially the female one, comes
into being/takes shape. By challenging the traditional role of male
subjectivity in the Western world, it thus serves as a medium through
which I explore notions of alterity and selfhood.
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