P39
'Alternative' beauty in 'alternative' communities, scenes and subcultures

Convenors:
Panas Karampampas (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales)
Natalia Koutsougera (Panteion University)
Location:
Appleton Tower, Seminar Room 2.12
Start time:
21 June, 2014 at 9:00
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

Cultural representations and conceptualisations of beauty differ amongst different subjectivities and collectivities. This panel will explore the performativity of alternative beauty and how it challenges normative beauty in dance, dress, art, objects, sound, music, selves and fantasies.

Long abstract:

Cultural representations and conceptualisations of beauty differ amongst different subjectivities and collectivities. This panel will focus on performances which challenge normative perceptions and stereotypical or natural 'icons' of beauty between different solid, fluid or 'imaginary' communities, scenes and subcultures, as well as on 'alternative' beauty formation in popular art. Emphasis will be given to 'beauty' as an open-ended social and cultural construction, especially in the arena of the interplay between dance, dress, art, objects, sound, music, selves and fantasies. The aim is to explore the ways in which feminine and masculine regulatory ideals, idioms of beauty, and models of the 'normal' and 'attractive' body are played out, materialized, and unsettled. Beauty, within the framework of different communities, scenes and subcultures, is considered as a multi-layered and elusive zone where several modes of emphatic, alternative or 'out-of-order' beauty performances thrive and circulate. This will be discussed in the context of the relationship between self-collective identity and 'unnatural' or 'unusual' beauty image and body experience. The main concern of this exploration is with how order, harmony and norms within collectivities and popular art are challenged, deformed and destabilised through everyday performances of paradoxical and queer beauties, alternative body practices and conditions. This panel will explore what kinds of public 'dis-order' and 'ab-normality' emerge from beauty experimentations within existing normative worlds and frameworks and outside the expected boundaries of sensibility. We invite papers that discuss 'alternative' beauty modes and bodies through music, style, performance, and body modification.