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Themesicon: navigation pathCyborg Bodiesicon: navigation pathMonstrous Bodies
Grosse Spiegel werden verloren. Informationen von Abwesenheit, damit Anwesenheit entstehen kann. (Netzhammer, Yves), 2000

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quite different bodies. The seamless gliding of bodies and genders, as it is made possible by digital photography, appears to be something placeless, unstable and uncanny. That the male artist represents the instability of (male) subjectivity through his becoming a woman is not, however, an invention by digital media. It was not only played through in the photography of the seventies by artists such as Urs Lüthi, Robert Gober or Andy Warhol, rather it was also a motif that gained a foothold in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries amongst writers and artists, for instance Marcel Duchamp. This media tradition ultimately only backs up the proposition that the confusion of subjectivity is staged as gender confusion, and with male artists it is primarily staged as maleness becoming unstable. As the following will show, at the same time becoming a woman or becoming a monster exhibits remarkable analogies.

The Monstrosity of the Endlessly Interfaceable, Digital Body

While in the nineties many artists staged the monstrous in the form of variable, doll-like creations with


disfigured or changeable gender and fluid ethnicity, in recent years the tendency has been towards detaching the sexual from an identifiable body and allowing the impression to be a structural one. The gender confusion in Aziz & Cucher's early photoseries, for instance, has been replaced by fantasies of skinscapes and skin objects or copulating electrical parts in later works such as «Chimera.» In the digital body images by Yves Netzhammer, for instance those in his early work «Grosse Spiegel werden verloren. Informationen von Abwesenheit, damit Anwesenheit entstehen kann» (2000) or in his four-part exhibition project «Die überraschende Verschiebung der Sollbruchstelle eines in optimalen Verhältnissen aufgewachsenen Astes» (2003), a reproductive power has seized hold of the figures and drives them to undergo permanent transformation. There is no interior and no exterior, but only multiplying, varying surfaces, endless recombinability, and yet the subjects are reminiscent of sexual fantasies of penetration, fusion, expulsion or birth: Such as when a smooth, compact surface buckles, bulges, when a snail crawls out of it, or when it becomes a human figure, a hand, a

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