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Sunday, October 20

  1. page Module 6 Assignment edited {lee-hyori-lee-ji-ah-dream-of-white_resize.jpg} {images_(1).jpeg} Transform Cosmetic Surgery …
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    {images_(1).jpeg} Transform Cosmetic Surgery
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  2. page Module 7 Assignment edited The Beach Bodyplease put your picture in the table; it will create a nicer lay-out :) {Monkeys_01…
    The Beach Bodyplease put your picture in the table; it will create a nicer lay-out :)
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    {DSC_0071.JPG} © Sandra Wagemakers, 2010
    {rapp.jpg} Esther van der Lugt, s147420
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    Tomás Levy Barros - s557912
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  3. page Palmerino Di Guido edited Steven Loeffen S168924 The two paintings displayed here have three appealing things in common. F…
    Steven Loeffen
    S168924
    The two paintings displayed here have three appealing things in common. First, easily noticeable by their style, the paintings are made by the same painter, Palmerino Di Guido, an Italian painter who lived around 1300. Secondly, they share the subject at hand. Both paintings illustrate events of importance believed to have taken place in the life of Saint Nicholas, bishop of Myra. Particularly in The Netherlands, but also in other European countries with a Judeo-Christian history, the spirit and acts of Saint Nicholas are still vividly alive. In many of these countries, Saint Nicholas is honored and kept in remembrance by annual feasts and celebrations. Thirdly, for both paintings, a fascinating link between their religious and historical aspects and the body can be revealed. This will be the main topic of this assignment. Based on these reasons, I chose to incorporate both in the assignment.
    St Nicholas Throwing the Gold Bars to Three Poor Girls
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    The first of the two paintings, entitled St Nicholas Throwing the Gold Bars to Three Poor Girls, shows one key event from Saint Nicholas’ life. According to the legendary story, there was a poor man, who had three daughters. Because the man could not afford a proper dowry, his daughters were not able to find a husband, and having no other form of income, were forced to prostitute themselves. During a dark and cold night, Saint Nicholas went secretly to their house, throwing golden coins through the window, and thus providing a decent future for the girls.
    In this famous story, traditional Christian values with regard to the use and meaning body are easily visible. As Erik explains in his interview, Christianity has difficulties with the body as a simple means to experience physical pleasure and lust. By using the physical body as such, a person will transform from a decent, proper and devoted Christian human being into a more animal-like being, and by doing so losing its control and Christian dignity. As a result of the financial aid of Saint Nicholas’, the three women have the opportunity to evade this transformation, and live their lives as devoted Christian wives, keeping their bodily honor and dignity, as prescribed by Christian beliefs.
    St Nicholas Saving Three Innocents from Decapitation
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    The second painting is entitled St Nicholas Saving Three Innocents from Decapitation and depicts another legend of Saint Nicholas. While various versions of the narrative exist, Saint Nicholas is believed to have saved three boys or clerks, kidnapped and by a butcher, who attempted do decapitate them and sell their flesh. In some versions of the story, Saint Nicholas intervened beforehand and prevented the decapitation. In others, Saint Nicholas brought the boys back to life. However, in both versions of the story and on the painting, the head is an essential part of body. In a sense, this mirrors the Christian duality of the mind and the body or, as David Brown discusses it, the physical and spiritual aspects of a Christian. The body without a head is the body without its mind, and thus without its spiritual connection to Christ and Christianity. Saint Nicholas made sure that, for these three boys, this would not happen.
    These, and other renowned stories of Saint Nicholas, led to the continuous veneration of the Saint.

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  4. page Module 6 Assignment edited ... {module_6c.jpg} {http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_KvDFauTmm3g/TIUeiKd1JVI/AAAAAAAADDw/kYqVjGMCjgw/s…
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  5. page The Beauty System in Cosmetic Surgery Advertisements edited Steven Loeffen November 2010 {4716359.87.jpg} In recent years, advertisement and promotion for…
    Steven Loeffen
    November 2010 {4716359.87.jpg}
    In recent years, advertisement and promotion for cosmetic surgery operations has been a controversial issue. Cosmetic surgery companies have been criticized for offering discounts valid for a limited time period, which may result in a lack of sensible decision making when opting for plastic surgery. (BBC News, 2007) Others suggest cosmetic surgery may lead to both psychological and physical damage and therefore argue “health warnings [should] be placed on all advertisements for cosmetic surgery, highlighting the risks.” (Culliton, 2008)
    The advertisement depicted here may as well have been a target of such criticism. While it is no surprise cosmetic surgery companies emphasize the positive effects cosmetic surgery, cosmetic surgery and body alteration and in its broader sense, the conception and search for beauty, is a topic of intense debate in academic literature, particularly among feminist scholars.
    As explained by Davis (1995) , there are two dominant contrasting views with regard to beauty, each build upon their own theoretical framework. One of these, of particular interest with regard to cosmetic surgery considers beauty as a mode of oppression. In this perspective, the conceptualization of beauty, primarily controlled by mass media and advertising, is used in order to maintain gender differences. The oppression perspective argues women are “compelled to conform with standards of feminine beauty which are not only impossible to meet, but have to be met, paradoxically, “naturally”.” In the case of cosmetic surgery, used to reach these standards of beauty, the obtained beauty is certainly not natural. An important consequence of this paradox is what Davis identifies as “one of the most pernicious feature of beauty rituals: they are performed in secrecy.” While not apparent in this specific advertisement, in many cosmetic surgery advertisements discreteness or confidentiality with regard to consultations and interventions is explicitly mentioned, a key indicator of this secret approach.
    In the oppression model, undergoing cosmetic surgery would be seen as simply conforming to the beauty system, which may give a false sense of beating the system, but in no way means actual liberation from it. In contrast, the oppression model argues for resistance to the beauty system and favors “a feminine aesthetic of appearance”. One of the individuals who have succeeded to indeed resist the beauty system may be the French artist Mireille Suzanne Francette Porte, better known as ORLAN. Although she is primarily known for her work with plastic surgery, she by no means conforms to the beauty system. Instead, she actively criticizes contemporary stereotypical conceptions of beauty.
    Thus, the message put forward in cosmetic surgery advertisements, stating cosmetic surgery is a way of achieving real beauty, is by no means universally accepted.
    References
    BBC News. (2007). Cosmetic surgery deals criticised. Retrieved November 18, 2010, from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7162450.stm
    Culliton, G. (2008). Cosmetic surgery to carry health warnings? Retrieved November 2010, 18, from Irish Medical Times: http://www.imt.ie/news/features/2008/03/cosmetic-surgery-to-carry-health-warnings.html
    Davis, K. (1995). Reshaping the Female Body: The Dilemma of Cosmetic Surgery. London: Routhledge.

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  6. page home edited A step-by-step guide to uploading your assignment Add your picture to the 'server': http://visu…

    A step-by-step guide to uploading your assignment
    Add your picture to the 'server': http://visual-culture-and-the-body.wikispaces.com/file/list
    Go back to Module 6 Assignment.
    Click on Edit in the upper right corner.
    Then click on the File button in order to upload your picture, and please resize your image so that all images have about the same size. Once this is done, Save.
    Before linking your image, make sure you Create A New Page (upper left corner). There are no tags necessary! Give it the title of your work.
    Once it is opened, in Edit mode, copy/paste your assignment to the wiki. Save your page.
    Go back to the Home page.
    There, again in Edit mode, you will click on your image, then click on the button to link your picture to your page. When the window opens, make sure you select your own assignment page. Then click on Add Link.
    Save the changes.
    You're done!
    If a wrong link has been selected, just stay in edit mode, click on your image and a box will appear. There, click on Change link and select the good page.
    Hello everyone!
    For module 6, you need to find an advertisement related to the theme of this module and give an analysis of this advertisement by respecting the following criteria:
    Explain your choice of advertisement and how it is relevant.
    Give a content analysis: what does the picture show about the dominant ideas and principles in the consumption society nowadays? Which effects have/can the advertisement have over the way of thinking of men and women about their body and identity?
    Make use of arguments that you have read in the literature.
    In your analysis, show that you are able to recognize the various commercial strategies and look at them in a critical way.
    Show that you have acquired insight in the mutual influence of the body and the mind, and that you are aware of the desirable and undesirable effects on the body, especially if it can be related to your advertisement.
    Think critically about the modern technical and commercial development that offers an improvement for the body and the mind. Does your advertisement offer an improvement for the body and/or the mind?
    Send the image to the teacher together with your analysis in one document.
    Your analysis needs to be saved in a .doc format.
    Minimum words: 300
    The deadline to send in your analysis is Friday November 19th.
    For the assignment of module 7, you should complete the assignment according to the following criteria.
    The collage should show the modern day conception of the body.
    The collage should show the understanding of the differences between historical and modern perception of the body.
    The collage should show that you are familiar with the most important theories over the construction of body and identity, as presented in this course.
    Give at least 3 comments on another’s contribution of 150-250 words. Each contribution may have a maximum of 3 comments only, therefore if a contribution has already 3 comments, you need to comment on another one. For this, use the Discussion page that is linked to the contribution you wish to comment on.
    The images together with the analysis will be posted online on the website that has been made available for this purpose.
    In your analysis/contribution, you need to show that you studied the theory as presented, so you should link at least 3 theoretical insights to the image you have chosen.
    Your analysis/contribution must consist of 300 words to 500 words.
    The deadline to submit your contribution is Tuesday November 30th (because we need them for the comments).
    The deadline to write comments is Friday December 3rd.
    What we want you to do is to upload the painting, drawing, or sculpture that you have chosen. First of all, make sure that your image is in either of these formats: JPG, PNG, GIF; since some other formats are not supported by wikispaces. This can be done via this link
    Table of Content
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  7. page Module 1 Assignment edited {Buddhist_Trikaya.JPG} {5-William-Blake-Nebuchadnezzar-1920x1200.jpg} {robinson.jpg} British mo…
    {Buddhist_Trikaya.JPG} {5-William-Blake-Nebuchadnezzar-1920x1200.jpg} {robinson.jpg} British moving last Tasmanian Aborigines to the mainland
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    {sistineceiling.jpg} Sistine Chapel
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Thursday, March 1

  1. page 3 Wise Monkeys edited {3_wise_monkeys.jpg} {Monkeys_019.JPG} Maike Pötschulat S486683 The Three Wise Monkeys repr…
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    Maike Pötschulat
    S486683
    The Three Wise Monkeys represent the Japanese proverbial principle “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”. There are several meanings ascribed to them but two are especially important for this analysis. Firstly, the proverbial principle implies agency and tells the actor to be good in speech, mind and action. Secondly, however, the hands of the monkeys which conceal the mouth, the ears and the eyes also symbolise a form of self-protection from perceiving evil things. The picture below the monkeys depicts my lovely housemates here in Singapore. The protecting hands of the monkeys are replaced with a chocolate bar in the mouth, a beauty magazine in front of the eyes and headphones over the ears.
    The symbolism of this picture can be related to Bordo’s analogy of Plato’s cave which she uses to explain the effects of advertising. Bordo claims that we are surrounded by representation of beautiful and young people and that we seem to take this as reality. Also the photograph relates to this aspect because it inclines that our senses are so stuffed with advertisement and different forms of media that we miss reality. Furthermore, Hurley has pointed towards the negative but also subconscious effects that the media can have on us. Because people tend to behave imitatively these effects in turn influences our autonomy and can thus media representations cannot be claimed to be an expression of freedom of speech. Also this aspect is symbolised by this photograph. It is not just that we do not use our hands anymore to protect ourselves from the media but by using them for consumption we are partly responsible for the consequences it can have on us. Thus the protective function of the hands becomes obsolete and we are actually utilising them to access the ‘evil’ that they were supposed to protect us from.
    Many of the authors in this course have referred to Foucault’s use of the term discourse. In his book, Brown pointed towards the fact of how religion has taken over the role of medicine and people believed that simply by praying and being a faithful person they would be healed. Also Brown describes a completely different way in these times of handling the body in which people would even refrain from any pleasures and materialism in their religiosity. I believe that the items in the photography above could be easily replaced with items of those days. The chocolate bar could be replaced with the wafer which symbolises the body of Christ, the bible could take the spot of the magazine and instead of listening to music via headphones she could listen to a priest. Maybe some people feel offended by my characterisation of religion as merely being a discourse, a group of statements which create certain practices. However, with this example I wanted to show how Foucault as well as other sociologists believe that reality as well as biology is socially constructed.
    In addition to this, it should be pointed out that the items in the photograph do not juts differ for different phases in history but also for different sexes. In a way the picture confirms the characteristics typically assigned to femininity. It seems that the majority of women like chocolate, that they are rather interested in beauty and fashion magazines and one could probably conclude that the music which is coming out of the headphones is from some singer with mainly female fans. As de Beauvoir pointed out, it is not the body that creates the differences between girls and boys but it is the process of socialisation that makes women women. This also relates to Butler who sees gender as a performance, as something which we are doing. The girls in the photograph certainly live up to these practices.
    When analysing the picture a bit more it also becomes apparent that the defining items in it are all bought. This is an aspect that Stevenson mentions in her article. She describes the bob haircut as a representation of emancipation and growing dissatisfaction of women with the patriarchal society they live in. Yet, interestingly she points towards the fact that these hairstyles combined with the fitting clothes were all purchased. It seems as if women were buying a lifestyle and a symbol. This analysis can certainly also be applied to our current society in which we define ourselves by the clothes, accessories, magazines and music that we buy. Thus it can be claimed that our consumption patterns are important for the formation of our identity.

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  2. page Imedeen advert edited Maike Pötschulat s486683 As unbelievable as it might seem but the advert that I have chosen can …
    Maike Pötschulat
    s486683
    As unbelievable as it might seem but the advert that I have chosen can actually be found in beauty magazines here in Singapore. The advert depicts the Singaporean actress Zoe Tay who is very well known in this part of the world, lying in a bed, advertising pills promoting beautiful skin with a very ambivalent slogan. Not just does this slogan incline a clear sexual reference but also it does so in making the connection that a woman will be more beautiful in doing so or in taking the pills.
    Kathy Davis points to the fact of how the contemporary body seems to be constituted not just of pure biology but that it is also constructed by culture to some degree. Furthermore, she points out how people expect to lead a happy and glamorous life and try to achieve this by attempting to transform their bodies to an ideal image. This is also the message that is conveyed in this advert. The fact that it portrays a famous and successful actress links the concept of beauty to a successful and thrilling lifestyle.
    Furthermore, Davis states that nowadays a patriarchal authority has been replaced by a consumer culture that has reached a certain level of neuroticism. However, with regard to the advertisement presented here I would argue that both aspects can be seen in this advert. On the one hand, it obviously attempts to make people consume the product but on the other hand, its slogan is clearly sexist and thus relates more to a patriarchal society.
    One main aspect of Kramer’s text on the effects of Prozac is that he questions whether it is fair in an extremely competitive society that some people take pills which seems to alter their personality in many fundamental ways and thus also makes them more successful. However, perhaps the same can be asked for a pill that changes the appearance of the skin together with all the other beauty products that are out there because according to Davis a more attractive appearance can empower women and make them more successful. Thus it seems to me that body modifications to this more common degree but even the area of cosmetic surgery do not raise the same issue of fairness in a competitive society as psychopharamaca.
    Continuing this line of thought, the texts by Pitts as well as the videos of Orlan show that extreme outer body modifications tend to be seen as something abnormal. Yet, personally I believe that these practices are rather a depiction of our current consumer society than something that is abnormal. By breaking boundaries of what can be done with the body especially Orlan demonstrates how far we have already gone in our strive for body modification and transformation. Furthermore, Stelarc points out how the body has become a sculpture object and like a pill that makes beautiful skin also a sculpture can be modified until its surface is perfect.

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  3. page Ernst Barlach - Der lesende Klosterschüler edited Maike Pötschulat S486683 Ernst Barlach - Der lesende Klosterschüler The wooden sculpture “De…

    Maike Pötschulat
    S486683
    Ernst Barlach - Der lesende Klosterschüler
    The wooden sculpture “Der lesende Klosterschüler” (“the reading abbey novice”) is an art pieces of the German drawer, sculpturer and author Ernst Barlach. It was created in 1930, in times characterised by great social, economical and political instability. It was the period in which the NSDAP’s rise to power commenced and eventually found its climax in the establishment of a one-party fascist regime led by Adolf Hitler from 1933 until 1945. Sharing his fate with many other artists, also Barlach’s writings, drawings and sculptures were subjected to the term degenerated art and were either removed from public exhibition spaces or even destroyed.
    In 1957, the German author Alfred Andersch published his novel “Sansibar oder der letzte Grund” (“Flight to afar”) in which Barlach’s reading abbey novice plays a central part. It tells the faith of communist Gregor and Jewess Judith who flee to the Baltic see in order to escape the impact of the newly introduced racial laws of Nurnberg. In the small village of Rerik, they meet the fisherman Knudsen and his cabin boy as well as the priest Helander. The latter is hiding the sculpture of a reading abbey novice in his church and is eager to save it from destruction as it is on the list of degenerated art pieces. The sculpture of the abbey novice unites the five of them and together they are able to save Judith and the sculpture from the Nazis by shipping them to Sweden. Perhaps one can say that the rescue of the sculpture can also be seen as the saviour of the body from a regime which tries to shape and use the body for its own purposes. Furthermore, due to this novel the art piece can be seen as a symbol of freedom and independence from the fascist regime (Kloster & Muster, 2003, p. 13).
    Coming to the art piece itself, the sculpture depicts a novice who is sitting on a pedestal, reading a book that is located in his lap. He is wearing a monk’s robe, his middle long hair is hanging down and he is bare footed. Taking a closer look at his body one notices that he is very gaunt. To the observer he seems to be someone who is deeply captivated by his readings but also someone how is not concerned with his bodily appearance. In addition to this, the general plainness of the sculpture as well as the uncomfortable reading position the novice is in, point towards the assumption that he is living in asceticism. With reference to David Brown’s writing, Borgman points out that asceticism was especially in earlier days seen as a part of religion. Instead of looking after their body, ascetics denied it. This seems to be a very complicated stance towards religion. As Borgman explained, Christianity has certainly distanced itself from sexual lust which causes people to fall into an animal state. Therefore, it seems that especially sexual abstinence is in line with devoting oneself to one’s religion. However, religious asceticism goes further than this. The history of medicine has shown that in earlier ages religion and medical treatment were strongly intertwined and in especially in the cases of ascetics, religion in fact took over the role of medicine: “One extreme response, represented by ascetics, was to insist that Christians should rely wholly on God for their health, with any other option taken to express a real lack of commitment and trust in him” (Brown, 2007, p. 399). Therefore, by abstaining and by taking religion and its study as the main aspect of their lives, ascetics hope to reach a deeper connection and rootedness with their religion. Asceticism involves suffering and in Christianity human suffering is very meaningful in the sense that it brings people closer to Christ and the sufferings he has gone through.
    When considering the novice’s ascetic lifestyle one could assume that desires are not part of his life as he is abstaining from most ordinary pleasures. However, if one considers the connection that Plato makes between desire and knowledge it becomes apparent that an ascetic lifestyle does not cancel out desires. According to Pickstock “Socrates, [...], desires to know what he does not know” (Pickstock, 2004, p. 99). This relates to the platonic idea of the a priori knowledge which means that we can only desire to know something if it is already part of us. In Borgman’s view this also relates to religion in the sense that the Christ is a revelation because of the Christian conviction that god has created the humans. Applying Plato’s reasoning to this it is meant that people see religion as a revelation because Christ is already part of them. Therefore, it can be argued that an ascetic life is not one without desires. The novice has a desire for his studies which according to Plato shows that the knowledge that he is acquiring is already an element of him.

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