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

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Massey University
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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 pointless. 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.
Appendix C contains video files which were unable to be uploaded onto the institutional repository, but are available with the hard copy of the thesis.
Subjectivity, Feminism, Patriarchal systems, Difference, Luce Irigaray, Julia Kristeva