Becoming-Woman: New Feminist Imaginings in the Image and Music of Björk

Ms Georgina Helen Boucher
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Current feminist theories of the self understand that in a current global context, capital governs and polices sites of subjectivity at an increasingly greater level. Feminism engages with globalisation by theorizing new understandings of identity that are resistant not only to gender hierarchy but to the notion of a globalised homogeneity. As an artist, contemporary popular performer Björk is attentive to globalised constructions of gendered and national identities, and opens out these unified subjectivities in her image and music to problematise their constitution. Deleuze and Guattari’s theory of ‘becoming’ as an anti-binary, contingent formulation of identity, appears compelling to feminism for its granting to the subject a capacity for invention and agency. This paper proposes that feminist engagement with, and development of, Deleuze and Guattari’s theory is a progressive realm of current feminist thought that reveals the transformative subjectivities of Björk’s art in new ways. Yet, as a postmodern artist within a popular industry, the way in which Björk’s work may be connected to a free-floating sense of identity, ties it to a capitalist paradigm. Problems concerning feminist engagement with theories of resistant identity are entwined with criticisms of Björk’s art, revealing tension between mapping of new feminist imaginings and a discourse of globalisation.

Keywords: Feminism, Identity, Agency, Resistance, Imagination
Stream: Arts Agendas, Analysing Artforms, Meaning and Representation
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Becoming-Woman

Ms Georgina Helen Boucher

PhD candidate, Performance Studies,
Creative Arts., University of Melbourne


Georgie Boucher is a PhD student in her final year of candidature in the Performance Studies department of Creative Arts, University of Melbourne. The title of her PhD thesis is Subjects in-between: the art of agency, identity and resistance, an investigation of the notion of resistant post-colonial and feminist subjectivities in the work of a collection of artists. Georgie has also given lectures on Feminist Theatre and popular culture at Melbourne and La Trobe Universities. She tutors Theatre Studies and a feminist cultural theory subject entitled Nymphs, Sluts and Madonnas.

Ref: A06P0140