Pete Mansell

Les had recommended that I look at the work of former OCA student Pete Mansell on a number of occasions. Unfortunately I had been unable to access his website and blog until quite recently.

His is an insider view of disability, and as such it would have been great to get some feedback from him about my project and how he felt my work was progressing (as a disabled person in the UK, he could have told me about how my representations were coming across to a different disabled audience, which would have been very interesting). Continue reading “Pete Mansell”

David Hevey

After reading his essay, The Enfreakment of Photography, I decided to look a bit more at David Hevey and what kind of work he is doing. He calls his work a ‘post-tragedy form of disability representation’. He faults postmodern theory since it does not take into full account the distribution, audience and production of images, and he (along with Jo Spence) distrusts academic nit-picking since he believes it obliterates larger issues of class with psychoanalytic analysis (according to Mary Warner Marien in Photography: A Cultural History). Continue reading “David Hevey”

The Enfreakment of Photography

During research for my last major project, I came across a reference to this essay and then later located it in the Disability Studies Reader. In it, David Hevey looks at how, on the whole, disability imagery is oppressive to its subjects, regardless of the photographer’s intentions. Since the author is both a photographer and disabled himself, this essay has some valid insights into how disabled persons are portrayed in the media. Continue reading “The Enfreakment of Photography”

Disability, Life Narrative, and Representation

This article is featured in the Disability Studies Reader 2nd edition, Routledge 2006 pp 399-401. Although the article deals mainly with autobiographical texts, it throws up some interesting and thought-provoking issues surrounding the disabled debate. To begin with, the Thomas Couser makes a quite profound statement about how disability is generally overlooked as a minority status, although it is in fact a more fundamental distinction than race, gender or ethnicity. Continue reading “Disability, Life Narrative, and Representation”

Disabled artists/artists on disability

One of the things that I have been constantly coming up against is this idea of ‘normal’ society and how disabled people are regarded – in the words of Sontag, describing the subjects of Arbus’s photographs: “Do they see themselves, the viewer wonders, like that? Do they know how grotesque they are?” (1977, p 36). Continue reading “Disabled artists/artists on disability”

Nicholas Nixon: photographing the fragility of the human condition

The world is infinitely more interesting than any of my opinions about it.” (published statement by Nixon, 1975)

The first work by Nixon that I came across was his photographic series The Brown Sisters. This project in itself is a microcosmic study of the bodily process of ageing, and to my mind serves as an introduction to Nixon’s other work. It has been noted that as the sisters age, so Nixon moves in with his camera, getting closer to the sisters as they become older. Continue reading “Nicholas Nixon: photographing the fragility of the human condition”

Disability culture

Disability culture and politics emerged from the 1970s rights movement, and aims to change perceptions and attitudes about disability through radical and activist means:

anything from articulating the experiences of impairment and disability openly and without shame, through to the rejection of prostheses or other artificial aids designed to conceal or minimise the visibility or effects of impairment(Barnes 2003, p 6) Continue reading “Disability culture”

Vital Signs: Crip Culture Talks Back

This documentary looks at disability as an issue as well as disabled performance artists. If nothing else, it’s a chance to see activists and theorists like Harlan Hahn (who sports a Piss on Pity T-shirt) and Ann Finger, as well as artists and performers like Cheryl Marie Wade, Eli Clare (who was still Elizabeth when this film was made) and Mary Duffy and hear their views and anecdotal stories of discrimination and oppression. The film is available on YouTube in 3 parts (part 1, part 2 & part 3). Continue reading “Vital Signs: Crip Culture Talks Back”