Movement and Resistance: (Tattooed) Bodies and Performance

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Abstract:

This essay is a genealogy of the performances of extensively tattooed individuals in tattoo contests held at tattoo conventions. It focuses on how the body in performance cites historical discourses and how that citation is necessary for both resistant and recuperative effects. I argue that the force of the normalizing discourse of class to contain and dictate the meaning of the (tattooed) body is challenged through actual and immanent movement. I conclude by emphasizing the resistant potential that is always immanent in the body by showing how the explicitly tattooed body's actions overflow and subsequently dismantle the logic of class normalization even as they resist and recuperate it.

Keywords: Agency; Body; Genealogy; Performance; Resistance

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14791420601138302

Publication date: March 1, 2007

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