The book is a part of growing literature on human embodiment and attempts to answer the question of the role of the body in the construction of identity in consumer culture. The book examines two related spheres: the centrality and marginality of cultural practices. The phenomena discussed include cosmetic surgery, Modern Primitivism, photographs by Matuschka and projects by French multimedia artist Orlan. The aim of the book is to postulate that in the present conditions of the fragmentation and disintegration of subjectivity, the body may be employed in a strategy of identification. Practices of body modification, performed both in the centre and in the margins of culture, reveal the ways in which identity is constructed, experienced and negotiated. By presenting the body as a site for the construction of identity, the study adds to the ongoing discussion about the status of individual identity and the identity of western culture.
Body, Identity and Representation in Western Culture
Velocentrism, Slow Culture and Everyday Practice
Motivated by a desire to reflect critically on the ways in which speeds, both high and low, and their representations affect the construction, deconstruction and reconstruction of meanings around particular cultural texts, images and practices, Resistance in the Deceleration Lane uses the velocentric perspective to examine the phenomenon of «slow living» and its rhetoric. The book analyzes cultural practices which are inspired by the conviction that the increased speed of everyday life cannot be accepted unquestioningly. It portrays slowness as a strategy of contestation and resistance on one hand, and on the other it highlights the process of the gradual commercialization of the slow logo and suggests the rise of a post-slow stage in the history of speed.
Memory, Space, Representation
Wojciech Kalaga and Marzena Kubisz
Nowadays the issues of space and place pertain more than ever to the ongoing discussion about personal/regional/national identities. The worlds of private archives of memory often exist independently of political and administrative divisions, while dominant ideologies are often capable of re-defining national archives of memory through selective representation of the past. The way we remember our past and our heritage inscribes the space we live in: the places we remember and the places we wish to forget, the monuments we pull down and erect and the museums we build are only some of the signposts on the landscape of our cultural memory. The essays collected in this volume examine the role of places and spaces in the formation of both cultural practices and the existential experience of modern individual.
Identity, Difference, Otherness
Wojciech Kalaga and Marzena Kubisz
Multiculturalism has recently become a word without which hardly any discussion of identity, nationality or historical and ideological narratives seems possible. However, the popularity of this word and its current usefulness should not obscure the fact that the concept itself is not an easy and obvious one: many apparently firm assumptions have been disputed from a multicultural perspective, while there are still a great number of social, cultural and political spheres which need to be re-defined and re-articulated as some dominant notions and symbols have been subverted by recognition of the diversity of subjective positions and cultural identities. The concept of multiculturalism assumes that our identities – both individual and collective – are shaped by our relationships with others. This volume addresses issues of multiculturalism and identity in culture and reveals a wide spectrum of perspectives from which we look at the Other/the Unfamiliar/the Unknown. It is an attempt to reveal the patterns and practices our culture has used in order to envisage, negate or welcome the Other, and seeks to contribute to the ongoing discussion about multiculturalism.
Edited by Wojciech Kalaga, Marzena Kubisz and Jacek Mydla
The purpose of this volume is to address the notion of cultural recycling by assessing its applicability to various modes of cultural and theoretical discourse. The word «recycling» is here used collectively to denote phenomena such as cyclicity, repetition, recurrence, renewal, reuse, reproduction, etc., which seem to be inalienable from basic cultural processes. Part of our purpose in proposing this theme is a desire to trace, confront, interrogate, and theorise the surviving phantoms of newness and paradigms of creativity or dreams of originality, and to consider the need, a necessity perhaps, to overcome or sustain them, and, further, to estimate the possibility of cultural survival if it turns out, as it may, that culture is forever to remain an endless recurrence of the same.