April 6, 2011
Abjection in art: A Reflection of the Artist.
The abject is defined by Kristeva as what, in the simplest terms, separates humans from animals. Kristeva refers to the abject as "The corpse, seen without God and outside of science, is the utmost of abjection. It is death, infecting life. Abject". The abject is the absence of intellectually instituted order, anything that reverts back to primal or instinctual desires. A commonly used expression that comes to mind is the example many people use to describe something horrible that they were compelled or attracted to despite their knowing better, “It was like a car accident: gruesome and horrifying, but you could not look away.” This reasoning is the unknowing admission of the natural attraction to the abject. This natural attraction to what, on an intellectual level, is understood to be disgusting, repulsive, and socially unacceptable to partake in. This is the reason for many of my own actions on a regular basis. It is the reason I have seen all of the “Saw” movies, and the reason I have searched Google for images for the remnants of 9/11 jumpers. It is sick, twisted, disgusting, but somehow attractive, even though most would deny any sort of compulsive desires to surround themselves with it. It dwells deep inside everyone and to some extent or another, influences our actions, some of us more than others. Personally, I do not deny this attraction, and have learned to embrace it to an extent, although it is sometimes looked down upon by others, and society in general.
One of my very favorite artists is Ed Kienholz. As I personally admit that I very much so enjoy the abject, it comes as no surprise that I would favor his work over most other artists. It is interesting to look at Ed Kienholz background as a farmer, and then at his work as an artist. The connection between the two is very strong, but gains an entirely new dimension when you consider...