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Art, Ethics and Provocation


Anna Suwalska-Kolecka and Izabella Penier

The main purpose of this volume is to look into a wide spectrum of artistic ventures which cross boundaries and challenge habitual thinking, consequently involving an element of provocation. While it is true that not all great art is provocative, the most memorable artefacts are these which have confounded our aesthetic expectations or stirred our moral imagination. However, as the turn of the millennium witnessed ever more shocking artistic gestures of provocation, the question arises if there are any limits to artistic freedom. The essays collected in this book offer a truly interdisciplinary perspective and deal with creative acts of transgression from a broad range of fields: literature, theatre, visual art, film, anthropology, and others. This volume will appeal to readers interested in artistic and academic pursuits that are subversive and irreverent.
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“Beyond the Edge of the Frame.” Transgression and the Aesthetics of Nostalgia in Derek Jarman’s Caravaggio


Abstract: This paper addresses the concept of nostalgia in the postmodern theory of culture and endeavours to show how it operates in practice in Derek Jarman’s Caravaggio. As an affective tool in artistic conceptualisation, the aesthetics of nostalgia allows the director to move continuously in and out of the cinematic frame to experiment with time, movement and sound. Hence, the nostalgic dimension of the film will be explored from two perspectives. Firstly, the socio-historical point of view will be analysed to take into consideration ideological implications of nostalgia in postmodern culture. Secondly, this reflection on the mechanisms of past formation will be combined with Jarman’s insertion of queer perspective into the consumption and historiography of art. Thus, the paper proves that the past becomes a liminal space in which Jarman constructs an alternative discourse free from socio-cultural constraints, activating a reactionary force towards the oppressive system.

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