Faculty of Social and Human Sciences (UNL) Conference System, 1st Non-Monogamies and Contemporary Intimacies Conference

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Challenging the heterosexist dichotomist logic: bestiality in Carolee Schneemann and Joanna Rytel video pieces
Teresa Furtado

##manager.scheduler.building##: B Tower
##manager.scheduler.room##: T10
Date: 2015-09-26 02:30 PM – 04:00 PM
Last modified: 2015-08-08


Starting from a feminist perspective this article examines the way in which artists Carolee Schneemann and Joanna Rytel dispute in their videos the traditional notion of women as objects and personification of desire in the context of the traditional heterosexual model – where women are the desire that men have –, as they present themselves in an erotic relationship with their cats, using images to convey their primary sexual yearnings, and giving account, therefore, of the condition of decidedly being the agents who desire. Heterosexual human sexuality is authorized and promoted by society through images, traditions and laws, which are in turn concealed by a cloak of invisibility that classifies them as natural, as if heterosexual norms and practices were not marked and situated historically. Even today, homosexuality and interracial sex are still catalogued by many as pathological practices that go against Nature. These artists employ a naturalization of bestiality and a denial of traditional and heteronormative gender codes, contextualizing their work within the framework of feminist poststructuralist and queer politics, based on a logic of overtaking dualisms, questioning the boundaries between humans and animals, between organic and inorganic and between human morals and bestiality. Finally, we consider that the work of these video artists falls within the scope of a plastic sexuality freed from the needs of reproduction while being modelled by individual options being crucial to the development of a pure relationship based on sexual and emotional equality.Key wordsGender studies, video art, feminist social movements, bestiality, transgression.