This book’s conclusion epitomizes this book’s claims with an analysis of Lisa Cholodenko’s High Art (1998), a film falling under New Queer Cinema’s non-redemptive, underground narratives of queerness. Ugliness as the negative operates as both literal and conceptual. It refers to an inherent erotic tangibility in older media processes of photographic documentation—the use of negatives—and it describes the ways that lesbian desire becomes defined through heroin addiction. This chapter shows how queer erotics communicates as a photographic negative, that is, a desire paradigm without the ability to be properly “developed.” The deeply counterintuitive possibilities of ugliness here reinforce the book’s larger argument about the importance of nondominant expressions of difference that queer female sexuality requires.
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