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A Delicate Presence: the Queer Intimacy of Drawing

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/11/2016
Number of pages10
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This paper explores the fragile presence manifest in the value of delicacy in drawing. Delicacy remains one of the poetic, aesthetic and psychological qualities closely allied with the history of drawing yet despite these widespread associations, delicacy as an aesthetic and critical phenomenon has remained largely underexplored. This paper unpicks the value of delicacy to uncover a web of tensions between the seen- unseen, touching-not-touching and crucially, absence and presence. The possibility for drawing to open up space between presence and absence is explored through feminist materialist theory, specifically Karen Barad’s idea of ‘queer intimacy’ a theory of relationship based on quantum physics predictions of simultaneous absence and presence. The significance for us is that through looking at drawing we become sensitised to the possibility of other states of being, which in turn may offer fresh lenses though which to see the world. Equally, in co-opting new forms of critical discourse from other fields of thought might we enrich our understanding of graphic encounters?