Magazine Article

Fragmented Productivity


Image from Fragmented Productivity
Bibliographic Reference

“Fragmented Productivity” Art Monthly Australia, August 2013

In her recent book, The Queer Art of Failure (2011), theorist Judith (Jack) Halberstam talks about a ‘commitment to the fragment over any fantasy of future wholeness’.1 Following Halberstam’s lead in her attention to queer theory, I’d like to position her thinking within a discourse of disability politics, and how the fragmented, so-called ‘failed’ disabled body can be located as a site of fragmented productivity. As Halberstam asks, ‘can we think about this refusal of self [in the form of fragmentation] as an anti-liberal act, a revolutionary statement of pure opposition that does not rely upon the liberal gesture of defiance but accesses another lexicon of power and speaks another language of refusal?’2 How can ‘becoming disabled’ be represented through contemporary art practices that demonstrate power in the body as it is, rather than a form that is striving to be otherwise? HERE&NOW13 showcases the work of eleven artists from Western Australia who identify as disabled and who locate their alternative embodiments in the present, without recourse to claiming difference through politicised binaries, changed futures or presenting their work as antithetical to pathology, even normality.