n Image & Text : a Journal for Design - A voice of her own : speaking her narrative through pointure-practices
|Article Title||A voice of her own : speaking her narrative through pointure-practices|
|© Publisher:||University of Pretoria|
|Journal||Image & Text : a Journal for Design|
|Affiliations||1 University of Johannesburg|
|Publication Date||Jan 2014|
|Pages||72 - 92|
|Keyword(s)||Agency, Cutting, Empowerment, Hysteria, Needlework, Self-expression, Semiotic and symbolic modes of signification and Transgressive writing|
Jacques Derrida's (2009 :301-315) metaphor of "pointure" forms a leitmotif in the final narrative series of the Dis-Location/Re-Location exhibition (2007-2008), titled A Room of Her Own (2006-2007). The metaphor of "pointure" itself is doubly-bound: although pointure-practices may be aligned with actions that connote mastery such as "penetrating", "piercing", "pricking", "puncturing" or "rupturing" a surface, their consequences also "point to" restitution: a conjoining of otherwise discreet elements through stitching, lace-making, binding, braiding and weaving type practices historically associated with femininity and domesticity.
In A Room of Her Own, conceptions of what I propose to be three pointure-type practices - the Victorian construct of needlework, the historically gendered nineteenth-century psychosomatic disorder of hysteria and the contemporary practice of self-mutilation through cutting - as signifiers of passive, self-negating "femininity" are subverted through redefinition as forms of agency. With reference to the ways in which these pointure-practices are played out in A Room of Her Own, and by aligning these practices with Julia Kristeva's (1995) concept of 'transgressive writing', I suggest that they can be read as empowering forms of preverbal, bodily-driven self-expression; a means of "giving voice" to unspoken traumas and speaking in the face of being silenced by nineteenth-century gendered discourses.
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