Living with contradictions: re-reading the representation of hybridity in visual art

Mangalanayagam, N. 2015. Living with contradictions: re-reading the representation of hybridity in visual art. PhD thesis University of Westminster Faculty of Media, Arts and Design

TitleLiving with contradictions: re-reading the representation of hybridity in visual art
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsMangalanayagam, N.
Abstract

My practice-based PhD investigates how photographic arts can subvert existing visual stereotypes of otherness by exploring how the concept of hybridity
undermines black and white notions of identity.

Alongside an autobiographical visual art practice, using my own mixed heritage (Sri Lanka and Denmark/Sweden) I investigate how artists with mixed heritages use their shifting points of identification to explore the dichotomy of black and white notions of identity. Although there are many artists exploring
Fanon’s idea of seeing oneself as Other through the eyes of an oppressor, it is harder to find artists using their hybrid position to question their own inherited preconceptions of others. By exposing this in my own practice, I add to a re-reading of the representation of hybridity in photography and video arts.

My research includes aspects of postcolonial theory, psychoanalysis and art theory to inform, contextualise and question my own art practice. I place myself in
situations within my cultural and familial structure to reflect on my position. Through shifting contexts I expose how I am, as much as anyone else, simultaneously a target and mediator. My artworks reveal inaccurate
characterisations of me, the impact of other’s views on me, and my process revising my assumptions about others.

My research and practice respond to three areas within postcolonial hybridity: the stereotype, mimicry and the Third Space. Each traces back to Homi Bhabha but is also reflected in current critical debates on identity. Through this work I explore contradictions that arise for people of mixed heritage, opening a space for viewers to reflect on their own narratives and position. Each of us contain different narratives, and sometimes it is through other people’s stories that we can deconstruct our own.

Year2015
File

Permalink - https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/item/97vw7/living-with-contradictions-re-reading-the-representation-of-hybridity-in-visual-art


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