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Doubly Monstrous?: Female and Disabled

1 June 2004


In this article I consider instances in visual culture in which artists and filmmakers aestheticize women with damaged, missing or anomalous limbs. I focus upon Joel Peter Witkin’s photomontage Las Meninas (1987), Peter Greenaway’s film “A Zed and Two Noughts” (1985), Alison Lapper Pregnant a statue by Marc Quinn, Mathew Barney’s film “Cremaster” (2002), David Cronenberg’s “Crash” (1996), Luis Buñuel’s “Tristana” (1970) and David Lynch’s short film “The Amputee” (1973). I argue that although the artists and filmmakers reveal, rather than disguise the damaged, anomalous or missing limb(s) of the women, thus valorising their particular embodiment, these women are paradoxically still portrayed as deviant and monstrous.


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