This article analyzes the relation between train (railroad) graffiti and the idea of performance, understood as a threefold process that involves the circulation of the train, the writer’s body, and the visual language on the train. The first two features, that is the circulation of the train in the city and the unusual use of the graffiti writers’ body, undermine the construction of what is considered public space, thus collapsing the normalizing effect of contemporary cities as spaces of control (Foucault). The analysis of the writer’s body movement brings to the fore a further reasoning on the graffiti practice as a performance, that as such dismantles not only the idea of public space, but of the use of written language itself, understood once again in Foucault’s idea of language as a coercive mean that is involved in the creation of a public and controlled space. The bodily performance of the graffiti writers, together with the type of written letters and the redefinition of what is to be thought of as public space, concur to establish a post-modern practice, that questions how we create and understand meaning in our urban realities.

Expanding Lines: Negotiating Space, Body, and Language Limits in Train Graffiti

BORDIN, Elisa
2013

Abstract

This article analyzes the relation between train (railroad) graffiti and the idea of performance, understood as a threefold process that involves the circulation of the train, the writer’s body, and the visual language on the train. The first two features, that is the circulation of the train in the city and the unusual use of the graffiti writers’ body, undermine the construction of what is considered public space, thus collapsing the normalizing effect of contemporary cities as spaces of control (Foucault). The analysis of the writer’s body movement brings to the fore a further reasoning on the graffiti practice as a performance, that as such dismantles not only the idea of public space, but of the use of written language itself, understood once again in Foucault’s idea of language as a coercive mean that is involved in the creation of a public and controlled space. The bodily performance of the graffiti writers, together with the type of written letters and the redefinition of what is to be thought of as public space, concur to establish a post-modern practice, that questions how we create and understand meaning in our urban realities.
graffiti; city space; body; performance
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/587355
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