I Know It When I See It: Fiber Art on the Fringe of Fetish Porn




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Mastodon Farm’s artwork explores how the haptic nature of fiber art objects craft identity, suggest personal intimacy, and further fiber art’s connection to arguments of gender and sexuality; utilizes the tradition of nude imagery to further these messages about gender and sexuality through the reforming of the figure, applying the image of the nude as the basis for the construction of an object, while breaking from some of the traditions of the nude to focus on the “thingness” of the object; and reassesses and reapplies perspectives on how to read the concept of fetish, particularly in sexually explicit artworks. In this dissertation, I explore the myth of fiber arts as inherently gendered, the aesthetic evaluation of pornographic images in the same vein as the figurative nude, and the tactile composition of fetishes. This project builds on a developing tradition of bodyoriented quilts such as the work of Randall Cook, Shawn Quinlan, and Greg Climer. It grows from the concept of photo-objects explored by Robert Heinecken. The project is also strongly informed by Freudian concepts of fetish, particularly as viewed through the prism of Christian Metz’s “Photography and Fetish” and applied to Heidegger’s concept of the thing.



Fine Arts