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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The most fantastic lie: The invention of lesbian histories
by Schwendener, Alyssa E., M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2016, 116; 10004166
Abstract (Summary)

The Most Fantastic Lie explores the troubled realm of lesbian history through contemporary art practice, visual culture, and activist collectives, arguing the necessity of new strategies toward the construction of marginalized histories in the absence of traditional evidence-based documentation. I identify three overlapping strategies toward the reconstruction of lesbian and queer histories: the documentation and collection of existing material evidence by grassroots archivists and contemporary artists who base their practice in affective relationships to archival objects; the manipulation of found objects, in the tradition of Claude Levi-Strauss’s concept of bricolage, to serve as visual placeholders for absent histories; and the fabrication of material evidence by artists working in a mode referred to by Carrie Lambert-Beatty as parafiction: deceptions that have productive power in the creation of new senses of plausibility. These strategies, in addition to providing visual pleasure to those seeking lesbian and queer histories, each mount critiques of institutionalized notions of legitimate history. In shucking the burden of proof and elevating denigrated forms of evidence such as gossip, oral history, and fantasy, artists and collectives are able to construct lesbian histories while simultaneously demonstrating the unstable foundations of historical truths.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Shaked, Nizan
Commitee: Paquette, Catha, Simms, Matthew
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Art, School of
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 55/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Art history, Womens studies, LGBTQ studies
Keywords: Brooke, Kaucyila, Fiveash, Tina, Leonard, Zoe, Lesbian art, Lesbian herstory archives, Wilson, Millie, pussy, fierce
Publication Number: 10004166
ISBN: 978-1-339-43060-7
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