ABJECT AND ABJECTION
A Body is a boundary and skin is the most exposed part. It separates us as a species; as a matter. Its essential element is the sense of touch, and on losing it, the region belongs to nothingness.
The simulation in the contemporary world have given the simulated experiences of all kind of atrocities and death, but it has somehow substituted the idea of them. (Eg. Action, war, historic movies, video games, etc) Hence, they are merely representational. This cycle has made us so indifferent towards the acts of violence ( from minor language abuse to annihilation) that we the don't even realise its day to day proliferation. It's civilised and brutal; It's abject.
Abject refers to human reaction threatened breakdown in meaning caused by the loss of the distinction between subject and object or between self and others. The abject is a threat to our understanding of reality. Kristeva gives the example of seeing a corpse, which is capable of creating a disgust in one's mind. But in actuality, it's confronting us by threatening our existence -being and not being, life and death.
Abjection is a liminal space in which life and death encounter an uncanny embrace. An extremely simplified example can be a joy or relief on the death of a villain in a film. It floats between the opposite but complimenting poles of aesthetics and disease, jouissance and disgust.
The abject floats in an indefinite zone between subject and object, where rules are ineffective and meanings are distorted. Thus, Abjection troubles the boundaries of being sublime and transgressed but does not abandon them. It is the ambiguous liminal space of jouissance and horror.
"It follows that jouissance alone causes the abject to exist as such. One does not know it, one does not desire it, one joys in it [on enjouit]. Violently and painfully. A passion."Pg 9|Powers of horror.
Abject art provokes a disturbing physical and psychical response. It threatens identity, undoes form, destabilises aesthetic and political normality, thus confronting the viewer as well as the artist with a significant violent breakdown.
The constant fluctuation in attraction and repulsion toward the object of desire, the conflicting yet complimenting factor of the abject and abjection leading to ambiguity is now playing an important role in my practice.