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Title: Kiki Smith or Kiki Frankenstein: The Artist as Monster Maker
Authors: Lima, Maria Antónia
Issue Date: Apr-2018
Citation: Lima, Maria Antónia. "Kiki Smith or Kiki Frankenstein: The Artist as Monster Maker". 39th International Conference of the Portuguese Association for Anglo-American Studies - APEAA, University of Évora, 26 to 28 April, 2018.
Abstract: Very concerned with mortality and interested in the subjects of birth and death, Kiki Smith called herself Kiki Frankenstein. In fact, she seemed to be as seduced by anatomy and natural science as Victor Frankenstein. Following the death of her father in 1980, the themes of mortality and decay were very present in Kiki Smith's work. Her main artistic purpose is concentrated in mending our fractured existence through the careful assembling of dispersed and lost parts of ourselves. Some of her hauntingly anthropomorphic puppets, in which her role as an artist is to metaphorically heal and reanimate the dead, allude to Smith's Frankenstein fantasy. We can feel this artistic purpose reflected in her main topics such as anatomy, self-portraiture, nature, and female iconography. Considering the physical self as the primary means of experiencing the world, Smith depicts the fragmented body, exposing organs and body parts in a shockingly and nonhierarchical way. Her intention strives to show how our body is perverted, mutated or corrupted by the dangerous forces of society, science, technology and medicine. In her work, Frankenstein personifies this primal fear of having our body invaded by unknown forces that can totally subvert and violate our identities creating monsters.
Type: lecture
Appears in Collections:LLT - Comunicações - Em Congressos Científicos Internacionais

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