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Abstract

This article examines what I term the "fleshy" politics of Rebecca Belmore's 2002 Vigil and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha's contributions to the 2009 version of the performance project Sins Invalid: An Unshamed Claim to Beauty in the Face of Invisibility. Focusing on the embodied performances of both Belmore and Piepzna-Samarasinha, I read the skin of the artist as a site where complex politics develop. This analysis is broken into three sections: the first considers the relationship between the performing body and the performance space; the second attends to specific movements each artist makes; the third focuses on garments worn in each piece. Together, I argue, these components of Belmore and Piepzna-Samarasinha's performances contribute to fleshy politics that reimagine the relationship between individuals and community, corporeality and geography, and the present and the past.

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