Spinning in my mother's garden : a search for subjectivity : an exegesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Arts at Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
Is female subjectivity possible within a patriarchal system? The following
discussion investigates feminist thought though equality, difference and androgyny,
mapping the achievements, setbacks, advantages and disadvantages of each through the
theories of Luce Irigaray, Jacques Derrida, Julia Kristeva and others.
Discussing Irigaray’s thoughts on disrupting the symbolic with mimesis and
hysteria, how intersubjectivity might be possible through a syntax appropriate to women
and the possibility of female genealogies through craft and the work of artists such as
Louise Bourgeois and Eva Hesse.
Derrida’s theory of Différance is used in relation to Irigaray’s ideas of difference
and morphology. And allows for Kristeva’s thoughts on the essential meaning of
language being in a constant state of flux and therefore fixed definitions of identity are
Virginia Woolf’s use of androgyny and modernist style in her writing is
considered in relation to Kristeva’s ideas of revolutionary writing, and how destructive
fixed gendered identities can be. The deconstruction of masculine and feminine identities
is advocated by Kristeva to allow for individuality and subjectivity.