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Themesicon: navigation pathCyborg Bodiesicon: navigation pathMonstrous Bodies
Faith, Honor and Beauty (Aziz, Anthony; Cucher, Sammy), 1992Thank you Tighmaster (van Lamsweerde, Inez), 1993

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References to biopolitics by means of new technologies and waves of fashion flare up. The hopelessness of the abnormal as an imaginable future is staged in the attractively repulsive image of the collapse of normalized heterosexuality; disfigured or proliferating gender, above all an apparently female reproductive power, is celebrated as an image of the monstrous. Culture-pessimistic notions come to fruition in the one-sided symptomatization of the deviant as an analogization of perverted, frightening power relations. At the same time, these re-install the abnormal as something fascinating and to be condemned, and leave no options open to reinterpret it beyond the debased and tabooed.

Disfigured Gender as a Loss of Identity

In the art of the nineties, the theme of the monstrous disarrangement or disfigurement of gender and the genitals as well as the sealing of the body emerged again and again in completely different media. If one takes the convention into account that gender is not only the fundamental basis for difference, but also for individuality and subjectivity, the incessant outlining of


the threat of gender is no wonder. The motif of the disfigurement of gender not only applies to the reproductive technologies, which make gender obsolete, but in a more general way to a world in which the sights are set on the end of the individual through biopolitics.

In both «Faith, Honor and Beauty» (1992) by the artist duo Aziz & Cucher and Inez van Lamsweerde's photoseries «Thank you Thighmaster» (1993), gender, pubic- and body hair as well as the nipples are erased using a digital process. The bodies of these young models have become impenetrable surfaces without membranes or openings. Both photoseries show that the compulsion to fashion oneself according to conventionalized ideal dimensions breeds monsters and that gender has become an arbitrary matter that does not rely on evidence, but on ‹technologies.› As will be discussed later with regard to other works, these, too, stage the deeply uncanny and unsettling of the cyborg body in its gender disfigurement and woundless melding. In contrast to the male authors discussed, van Lamsweerde expressly thematicizes the fetish character of the woman and shows that the

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