Eliza Steinbock
Disfiguration: On Violence and Negativity in Queer Art
– Pink Labour on Golden Streets: Queer Art Practices
Book chapter 2015


I’m concerned less with the ethics of committing violence, whether real or imagined; in other words, asking should you or should you not act violently. I am more interested in the political nature of art that is explicitly about bashing back. However, I want to extend the scope of imagined violence to artworks that are nonrepresentational and distance themselves from being figural representations of a violent story. Hence, what I focus my analysis on is how negativity becomes abstracted in the painting and performance of bodily violence. How does negativity become condensed into a nasty prick felt on a viewer’s nervous system, or more strongly, a disfiguring affect?