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Ugly DifferencesQueer Female Sexuality in the Underground$
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Yetta Howard

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041884

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252041884.001.0001

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The Erotics of Artificiality

The Erotics of Artificiality

(p.102) Chapter 4 The Erotics of Artificiality
Ugly Differences

Yetta Howard

University of Illinois Press

This chapter theorizes the figure of the mannequin and noise as modes of erotic investment in artificiality and unnaturalness. Routing sexual libertinism through the body of difference, ugliness is conspicuous as mannequin fetish, noise music, and disabled performance. After offering a critical genealogy that rethinks the mannequin’s association with beauty, this chapter shows how the figure of the mannequin becomes an emblem of nonnormative desires and fetishistic impulses, championing forms of the erotic that reflect artificiality in material and auditory contexts. Calling into question both the artificial object and objectification, it explores the sonic textures of Narcissister and A. L. Steiner’s experimental art-film Winter/Spring Collection (2013) whose “semi-live nude mannequin” functions as a radical critique of dominant sexual embodiment via the oppositional backdrop of noise.

Keywords:   Mannequin, Artificial, Unnatural, Noise, Disability, Erotic, Narcissister, A. L. Steiner

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