Tattoo Essay post print.pdf (88.71 kB)
The great ephemeral tattooed skin
journal contributionposted on 2023-08-30, 13:25 authored by Patricia MacCormack
The skin is always and already a series of planes which signify race, gender, age and such. Tattooing creates a new surface of potential significance upon the body. Tattooing can call into question concepts of volition in reference to the power to inscribe and define one’s subjectivity through one’s own skin, and the social defining of the subject. Skin is the involution or event between subject and object, will and cultural inscription, the social and the self. Feminism, particularly corporeal feminists, have attempted to think ways in which the female flesh may be recognized and self-defined without risking essentialism through reification of the meaning of ‘woman’s body’. Thinking the tattooed female body thus resonates with some of the risks and benefits feminism has found in theorizing a marginalized body. Using Deleuze, Guattari, Lyotard and other major influences on corporeal feminists this article explores ways in which significance is sought in skin and possible configurations of skin and world which challenge the desire to read the flesh as a legible incarnation of subjectivity.
Publication titleBody and Society
- Accepted version