Abject visions

Powers of horror in art and visual culture

Edited by Rina Arya and Nicholas Chare

Abject visions


  • Hardcover
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9629-7
  • Pages: 224
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £18.99
  • Published Date: May 2016
  • BIC Category: The arts: general issues, PERFORMING ARTS / Film / Genres / Horror, ART / Criticism & Theory, The arts / Art treatments & subjects, The arts / Theory of art, Art History, Theory of art


This major new volume brings together leading international scholars to debate the continuing importance and relevance of the concept of abjection for the interpretation of modern and contemporary culture. This genuinely interdisciplinary collection includes important new essays that draw on the work of Georges Bataille, Judith Butler, Julia Kristeva and other key critical thinkers to provide innovative readings of works of art, film, theatre and literature. The clear and accessible essays in this volume extend the existing literature on abjection in exciting new ways to demonstrate the enduring richness of the concept.


'The exploration of the implications of abjection: being abject, positioning as abject, for the visual and performing arts defines for this collection a double relevance. It adds to the study of abjection; it adds also to the analysis of a range of artistic practices.... most of the chapters will themselves become significant in their areas while the whole performs an enlivening re-engagement and expansion of abjection as a term in contemporary cultural analysis.'
Griselda Pollock


Introduction: Approaching abjection - Rina Arya and Nicholas Chare
1. Art, abjection and bare life - John Lechte
2. A lesbian, feminist and Canadian perspective: queering abjection - Jayne Wark
3. Manet's Abject Surrealism - Nicholas Chare
4. Juan Davila's abject after-image - Rex Butler and A. D. S. Donaldson
5. Animals, art, abjection - Barbara Creed and Jeanette Hoorn
6. The fragmented body as an index of abjection - Rina Arya
7. Skin, body, self: the question of the abject in the work of Francis Bacon - Ernst van Alphen
8. Abjection, melancholia and ambiguity in the works of Catherine Bell - Estelle Barrett
9. Corpus Delicti - Kerstin Mey
10. Art is on the way: from the abject opening of underworld to the shitty ending of oblivion - Calvin Thomas
11. Base materials: performing the abject object - Daniel Watt


Rina Arya is Reader in Visual Communication at the University of Wolverhampton

Nicholas Chare is Associate Professor of Art History in the Department of History of Art and Film Studies at the Université de Montréal

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