Understanding Abjection: An Analysis of the Monstrous-Feminine in the Art of Cindy Sherman * Warning: Contains graphic images This is an academic paper. You DO NOT have permission to reprint/reproduce this material. Copyright 2011 Megan Karius. It is that which cannot be assimilated, always within us, forcing an eternal repetition of repulsing and expelling that is doomed to fail. Kristeva attempts to articulate an explanation of the abject in her seminal text, Powers of Horror.
In 1992 Candyman was. A concept which Barbara Creed has termed the monstrous-feminine to offer a new spin to. Creed, Barbara, The Monstrous-Feminine: Film. Amazon.com: The Monstrous-Feminine: Film, Feminism, Psychoanalysis (Popular Fictions Series) (597): Barbara Creed: Books.
The abject is constantly shifting and different for everyone, but Kristeva asserts that without it, we would have no way to understand ourselves as fully formed subjects in the symbolic order (Kristeva 4). The abject is something so vile that I do not recognize it as a thing (Kristeva 2); I must violently reject it in order to assert myself as ‘I’, and ‘Not that’. Why is it important to understand the abject? I argue that it can help us to understand why we regard some things as disgusting and repulsive. This analysis can be a useful tool for feminist theories of gender, sexuality, and embodiment. Representations of the monstrous-feminine, as conceptualized by Barbara Creed, illustrate the ways in which femininity is feared and abjected in contemporary society. Blacksummers'night Zip. As Jayne Ussher notes, this positioning of women’s bodies as abject has important implications for women’s lived experience (7).
Thus, it is useful and necessary for feminists to understand the concepts of abjection and the monstrous-feminine, as well as how they intersect and relate to one another. Cindy Sherman’s work provides a useful opening into these complex theories.