On the Threshold
In recent decades a number of disparities have underscored inadequacies of justice, capital, medical, and sociopolitical conditions that we now must grapple with as our relationship to space and time has been upended. We remain in a space of negotiation within society and are at a threshold for how we want to continue forwards. For this comeback issue of Wreck, we contemplate the generative possibilities of what a threshold is and what comes after it as we mediate this new world that the events of this new decade have ushered in.
In Wreck’s newly revived issue we want to explore this idea of what a “threshold” is and the possibilities of transition as our own journal transitions into a new phase of its history. The space of a threshold and what it represents is difficult to define, especially as the “other side” is often undetermined and in flux. What does it mean to be on a threshold? How have images and other artifacts of visual culture responded to thresholds in present and past times, and how have these been framed historically?
A marker of time, space, and ideas, the threshold is a place of transformation; a marker of metamorphosis from one state to another. However, it can also function as a limit, a border marker where “things” can be held back or pushed through into a different state. How do two vantage points (or things) become thinkable through the space between them? How have thresholds, such as the change of a century, been communicated visually? How do anxieties of the unknown on the other side of a threshold become visualized? What imaginative possibilities do the unknowns of thresholds offer artists? How do thresholds provide spaces of negotiation for artists in times of difficulty?
Issue website: https://ojs.library.ubc.ca/index.php/wreck/issue/view/183068
Cover image: Postcommodity, Repellent Fence / Valla Repelente, 2015, land art installation and community engagement (Earth, cinder block, para-cord, pvc spheres, helium), Douglas, Arizona, U.S.A. and Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico, https://postcommodity.com/Repellent_Fence_English.html.
Wreck Logo by Arlee Stewart
Signalling Spanishness: Communicating peninsular Spanish identity in Antonio Rodríguez Beltrán’s “María Luisa de Toledo with her indigenous companion” (c. 1670)
by Hana Nikčević
Abjection in contemporary Black Feminism: An Intersectional Approach in Doreen Garner’s Red Rack of Those Ravaged and Unconsenting
by Yoobin Shin
Brooklyn-based African American artist Doreen Garner (b. 1986)’s recent sculptural assemblage, Red Rack of Those Ravaged and Unconsenting (2018) visually reiterates the history of medical experiment on enslaved Black women’s bodies conducted by white doctors in the United States from 1845 to 1849. Sculpturing the dismembered bodies of Black women in a realistic, yet grotesque manner, Garner expresses her intersectional identity of being a woman and Black in the American contemporary art scene. In this paper, the author argues that through Red Rack of Those Ravaged and Unconsenting, Garner attempts to engage with Julia Kristeva’s notion of abjection to unsettle viewers, typically white male and female, as well as white feminists, by evoking two histories of America: the history of Black slavery in the nineteenth century and the history of feminist art practice in the 1980s. Instead of fully embracing Kristeva’s theory of abjection from the Anglo-feminist perspective which has dominated theoretical discourse on the pursuit of the female subjectivity since the 1980s, Garner rather takes up the limitations that came out from their feminist research into her sculpture to contest her viewers in reading her work of art from the position of contemporary Black feminist.
Spaces Unknown: Articulations of Suburban Normativity and Alterity in James Wan’s Insidious (2010)
by Marcus Prasad
This article explores the representation of the suburban house and the concept of suburbia as a space of social normativity in the American and Canadian context following World War II. I pursue this line of investigation by analyzing a work of horror film that questions and disrupts this distinct space – James Wan’s Insidious (2010). The following reveals the unique means through which this work exposes a decades-long disdain held toward postwar suburban development and its deep ties to normativity by closely examining how Wan represents the space of the home and its subsequent undoing. I thread works of queer theory within my analysis to act as a guiding framework through which the productivity of the film’s represented ulterior space may be read and understood.
Drawing from spatial and temporal theory primarily, I articulate how normativity is formed in the space of the suburbs through structured rhythms, movements, and gestures that become attributed to the heterosexual, white, middle- to upper-class family. This investigation is followed by a methodology that adopts from queer theory a process of estrangement, a deviation from the normative space of the suburbs that seeks to disrupt and challenge existing scripts within dominant social frameworks unique to horror film. As such, this article provides a new method through contemporary horror film may be analyzed, away from canonical or genre prescriptions, and toward the productive potential of spaces considered to be ulterior.
Indigenous Sovereignty and the Border: Postcommodity’s Borderlands
by Kristina Parzen