The Kitsch Glitch: A practice-based exploration of lived experience and the impact cultural heritage has on cancer [thesis]

Bec Litvan
The Kitsch Glitch is a personal investigation of the impact of cultural shame and stigmatisation on the lived experience of breast cancer. My point of departure was the apparent inability of my inherited (Russian-Jewish) culture to admit any discursive practices that would do justice to such a lived experience. Influenced by family history, kitsch aesthetics, and glitch theory, I sought to combine these components in order to produce a set of works that open a space in which the received
more » ... l perceptions of cancer could be challenged. I refer to various aspects of "Soviet Kitsch" and Russian history to demonstrate that a restrictive and self-suppressing Stalinist mentality continues to pervade my culture, and even overdetermined my family's perception of disability and illness. Utilizing a punk-luxe aesthetic, my artistic practice takes an experimental approach in presenting cancer as a bodily glitch, while critiquing what I have discovered about my Russian cultural heritage. This paper presents an empathetic perspective and eclectic iterations of medical and cultural aesthetics. This is articulated through a series of experimental digital and physical outputs. As a result, I argue that my work could be considered as a positive rendition of "cancerous propaganda".
doi:10.26190/unsworks/24121 fatcat:mxbu7h6bjjdjrhqrppoo74ss6a