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‘If Duchamp’s toilet can be a masterpiece…’: Slash manips as fannish readymades

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This article performs textual analysis of works from two slash manip artists – Tumblr’s wandsinhand and LiveJournal’s mythagowood – to argue that the form can be understood as a fannish form of ‘readymades’. I perform a comparative analysis of Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain and the use of the toilet as a central sign in wandsinhand’s practice. The works of mythagowood are then examined. I use excerpts from various interviews with the artist to explore his practice, its connection with the Supernatural canon and his unique construction, ‘Sammy’. I compare his practice to that of figurative painter Francis Bacon and the statements his art makes on meat, beasts and sexuality. Framing my reading of the oeuvres of wandsinhand and mythagowood around Duchamp’s concept of ‘readymades’ and Bacon’s representation of meat demonstrates the potential for slash manips to explore the instability and malleability of the male sexed body, highlighting these objects’ aesthetic, artistic and cultural significance.
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Keywords: Harry Potter; Supernatural; Teen Wolf; cultural studies; fan studies; readymades; slash; slash manips

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Sydney

Publication date: March 1, 2016

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  • The multi – disciplinary nature of fan studies makes the development of a community of scholars sometimes difficult to achieve. The Journal of Fandom Studies seeks to offer scholars a dedicated publication that promotes current scholarship into the fields of fan and audience studies across a variety of media. It focuses on the critical exploration, within a wide range of disciplines and fan cultures, of issues surrounding production and consumption of popular media (including film, music, television, sports and gaming), The journal aims to address key issues in fans studies itself, while also fostering new areas of enquiry that take us beyond the bounds of current scholarship.
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