Sampler (Tennyson) and Elaine Reichek’s Postmodern Parody Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Koupash, Kelly
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Art and Art History, Art History
  • In Sampler (Tennyson), Elaine Reichek parodies Tennyson’s The Lady of Shalott to contest the Romantic values that have enabled the exclusion of women from the Western canon. The following essay argues that this work demonstrates a negotiation of competing desires: the desire to interrupt the gendered logic of artistic production that has defined the canon, and the impulse to preserve a stable connection between embroidery and femininity. This essay demonstrates, first, that the sampler format is coded “feminine” throughout Reichek’s work; second, that Reichek grapples with questions of identity and authorship in a manner that protects the creative contributions of women without explicitly endorsing the canon; and third, that Reichek’s work invites not only a structural critique of the canon, but a critique of individual works at the level of content.
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  • In Copyright
  • Cao, Maggie
  • Pardo, Mary
  • Levine, Cary
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2017

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