||Being a photographer that was famous for exploring the marginalizing society , Diane Arbus（1923-1971）took mentally retarded people from several institutions in New Jersey as the subject , and it became the “Untitled” series collected in books by her daughter in 1995.This group of mental disorders broke the ordinary model of communication that Diane Arbus used with those previous photography objects. Therefore, this thesis focus on this series of works, to detect and discussion when Arbus’ style has been mature day after day but obtained the deep going thought and acme display of creation idea by the transformed expression because of the particular theme.|
The human society often takes stigma as the divide of normal and abnormal, labels those whose behaviors do not conform to the society and pushes them toward the marginalization. Therefore, this thesis brings up annotations for the series of "Untitled" from the theory about stigma of American sociologist, Erving Goffman, and the critics to total institution from the anti-psychiatry movement in 60’s.These theories critiqued absolute division of normal and abnormal, perhaps devalue the social marginalizing people, but stressed that we should take the respect manner to the social marginalizing people.On the other hand, this thesis explains the images by the concept of liminoid of Victor Turner, describes in these photographs to stress in individual thought that each kind of cognition as well as the significance are at chaotic, break condition, but attempt to have certain new cultures in certain marginalizing, unformed situations. This thesis uses this idea to explain that there is one kind of appearance that is different with the main stream culture, actually multi-dimensional and unique in the series of “Untitled”.
Furthermore, this thesis continues the duality which appears frequently in Arbus’ works, and takes the documental and lyrical in the series of “Untitled” as the discussion center. In documental aspect, Arbus has continued the European artists’ interest to the image of freaks, and unified the concept of American documental style after the 60’s and formed the new documental image contains individual thought within the objective documental. In lyrical aspect, this series of works became the nostalgia of freaks to Arbus. Arbus discovered much strange juxtaposition on these social marginalizing people that formed the grotesque image. Therefore, what this lyrical expresses is freaks’ comfortableness, in this fantastic magic power like fairy tales, it is the metaphor of this crowd of society social marginalizing people forming lives that disregards the social judgment, released, and rich in the fantasy strength .
Therefore, this thesis thought that the series of “Untitled” had reflected the American society resisted the authority in 60’s, to see the marginalization, to take multiple ideological trends. And reduced the intervention from the photographer to the photographs and subject , but presents the reality, comfortable social marginalizing people’s appearance. In the mad image of art history, the series of “Untitled” of Arbus became one kind of image of a new state asylum that development distinctive quality of society marginalizing people, respect to the existence of difference.
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