This thesis analyzes Madonna's Confessions World Tour in terms of the debates surrounding feminist performance art. Many criticize Madonna as a highly commercialized artist whose tasteless displays in fact confirm the phallogocentrism she claims to deconstruct. Yet, using theories of Theodor Adorno, Amelia Jones and others, I argue Madonna's artistry retains a critical autonomy vis-à-vis the social construction of gender. Thus her art is highly political. Adorno argues art work retains its autonomy from the social system when it deliberately unpacks monolithic categories which appear to be "closed" static systems. Jones maintains performance art in particular holds potential to unsettle gender categories in ways that do not perpetuate, but indeed unsettle, traditionally sexist notions. I argue the female body-on-display is not automatically co-opted by a phallogocentric system; instead, the female artist who uses her body to disrupt the status quo possesses potential to creatively rewrite meanings assigned her by culture.
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 47/05M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Cultural anthropology, Womens studies, Political science|
|Keywords:||Adorno, Theodor W.|
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