Matt Lodder, Reading University firstname.lastname@example.org
Gemma Angel, University College, London email@example.com
Tattooing and other practices understood as ‘body arts’ (including but not limited to branding, scarification, piercing and even body painting and cosmetic surgery)
have long been a source of popular and academic fascination, most usually discussed in anthropological, criminological, psychological or sociological contexts. Yet though the common phrase ‘body art’ used to describe tattooing and its coincident technologies is familiar and comprehensible, scholarly work which deals with the
vernacular body arts using methodologies which are explicitly art-historical and art-theoretical has been all too infrequent.
This session seeks proposals which apply the critical approaches of art history and material culture studies to the body as an art object beyond a delineated artistic
context. Proposals are invited to address tattooing and other body arts and bodily practices, their practitioners, their practices and their products.
Papers may wish to consider, for example, questions of aesthetics, authorship, ownership, value and the status of the body as an artistic object, the applicability of artistic methodologies to the lived body, or examine tattoo and other body-art imagery in historical contexts. Additionally, proposals are invited which discuss the use of tattooing and other quotidian body arts in contemporary performance art. We welcome specific case-studies, or papers that deal with broader theoretical issues which body arts may pose.
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