Engaged Disengagement: Reframing as Feminist Critique in Vanessa Place’s Tragodía

Colby, G. 2016. Engaged Disengagement: Reframing as Feminist Critique in Vanessa Place’s Tragodía. Textual Practice. 31 (4), pp. 707-723. doi:10.1080/0950236X.2016.1153514

TitleEngaged Disengagement: Reframing as Feminist Critique in Vanessa Place’s Tragodía
AuthorsColby, G.
Abstract

This essay positions Vanessa Place’s Tragodía (2011) as an instance of reframing as contemporary feminist cultural critique. An enquiry into allegory, hermeneutics, and the performative use of indifference in Place’s conceptual writing generates insights into new narrative conditions produced by Place’s work. Tragodía does not represent trauma but rather generates trauma through a poetic practice that has a bipartite structure: conceptual writing (allegory) and Place’s performances of the narratives. Place’s performance is read in this analysis as an ancillary act of reframing that raises the question of what might be at stake in the performative use of indifference. Understood as a strategy of failure, Place’s performance parallels the lack of mediation in the conceptual act of reframing. Positioned counter to the linguistic deformation of the subjects' speech acts and the erasure of affect that occurs in the legal narratives through the act of interpretation, the refusal to interpret implicit in the act of reframing in Tragodía is an ethical gesture, a paratextual pathway to metamorphosis. In its refusal to interpret, Tragodía creates a site of contextual resistance to the oppression of the subjects’ organic narratives by the institutional language of the law, and offers a new textual field of meaning-making.

KeywordsExperimental Writing, Vanessa Place, Conceptual Poetry, Allegory, Feminism
JournalTextual Practice
Journal citation31 (4), pp. 707-723
ISSN0950-236X
Year2016
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Accepted author manuscriptVanessa Place Article 2016-2.pdf
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1080/0950236X.2016.1153514
Publication dates
Published26 Apr 2016
Published online26 Apr 2016
Published in print2017

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