Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Two swans, a king, and a dandy: An examination of identity in three works of Yinka Shonibare, MBE
by Johnson, Denielle, M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2014, 119; 1527010
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis analyzes Yinka Shonibare's appropriation of narratives to address identity-as-construct and develops a theoretical framework for interpreting his art using theories alternative to postmodernism and identity politics. I begin the analysis by citing Roland Barthes and Michel Foucault whose ideas have influenced Shonibare. Then I apply postpositivist realism and conceptual narrativity to Shonibare's work. These theories are intriguing because they offer a more complex and therefore more accurate way of viewing identity, allowing for a multiplicity of signifiers to form an individual's identity, not just one signifier such as race. Thus they account for the differences that explain individual reactions to shared experience within a group. This acknowledgement of differences frees people from category-based expectations such as Shonibare's tutor wanting to limit him, a Yoruba artist, to creating African-themed art. This incident was the catalyst for Shonibare's practice. Use of the alternative theories allows me to accomplish my objectives.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Paquette, Catha
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 54/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Art history, Philosophy
Keywords: Diary of a victorian dandy, Identity in art, Odile and odette, Postpositivist realism, Shonibare, yinka, Un ballo in maschera
Publication Number: 1527010
ISBN: 978-1-321-37045-4
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