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Social Science

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My work in Anthropology/Social Science: writing the third part of a trilogy research about the inseparability of art, material culture and oncological disease (MA; PhD; Postdoc). Gathering an international list with twenty-four art projects shaped around the feminine experience of breast cancer, the first part of this research understood art projects and objects as constitutive parts of experience itself, embedded in the way these women live, understand and take action on cancer. Opening this working field to the many versions of oncological disease, the second part of this investigation redefined material culture as a portion of cancer, a part of the way we experience and conceptualize disease, looking at the medical, personal and domestic objects that take form and gain relevance in one hundred and fifty artistic projects made ​​by or with women. Expanding these theoretical proposals, the last part of this research gives use to three concepts; "modular illness", "built-in objects" and the “third half of things and of knowledge" (Noronha, 2012), through a methodological (re)mixture of social science and art/imagination, exploring the inseparability of illness and material culture in a photographed, drawn and written conversation between the researcher and a small ramified group of portuguese women during or after cancer. Read Full CV

 

Noronha, Susana de (2009) A Tinta, a Mariposa e a Metástase: a arte como experiência, conhecimento e acção sobre o cancro de mama, Porto, Afrontamento. [Winner of the CES Award for Young Social Scientists from Portuguese-speaking Countries 2007]

 

TintaMariposaMetastase

The book presents a visceral and reflective analysis of twenty-four art projects shaped around the feminine experience of breast cancer. Available on the Internet, these creations allow us to follow the multiple uses and meanings accumulated by the art objects between the initial motivations of their creators and the purpose behind their display on public and digital space. Contradicting the simplistic concept that defines art as a representation or reproduction of reality, I understand these objects and projects as a constitutive part of experience itself, immersed on the way these women live, understand and take action on cancer. It also redefines art as a form of knowledge and transformative practice, not only as a way to objectify and give personal meaning and form to inner experiences of disease, but also as an emancipative counter-hegemonic exercise of activism infused with global ambition. Departing from an epistemological conception of art and a dialogical conception of social science, this investigation also carries the purpose of presenting itself as a product of conversation. Questioning and testing the possibility of a translation between embodied, artistic, anthropological and sociological understandings, it intends to redefine cancer as an external social construct against the notion of its spontaneous, corporal and internal reproduction. (Buy it in local bookstores or directly from Afrontamento, sociology catalogue, "Saber Imaginar o Social" series, number 26)

 

Noronha, Susana de (2015) Objetos Feitos de Cancro: mulheres, cultura material e doença nas estórias da arte, Coimbra, Almedina.

 

ObjetosFeitosCancroObjetos Feitos de Cancro (des)arruma a cultura material da doença oncológica, olhando para as materialidades que ganham forma, uso e sentido nas imagens e textos de projetos artísticos criados por ou com mulheres que viveram esta experiência. Os objetos são entendidos como pedaços de cancro, ou seja, partes constitutivas das sensações, emoções, ideias e gestos que fazem a experiência do corpo doente. Objetos hospitalares, domésticos e pessoais encastram-se no diagnóstico, tratamento, remissão, metastização e morte, fazendo a doença que se sente e pensa. Da cadeira da sala de espera à última pulseira hospitalar, arrumam-se seringas, máquinas, relatórios, macas, camas, instrumentos cirúrgicos, drenos, pensos, próteses, bombas infusoras, cabeleiras, roupa e muita outra bagagem. Nos lugares da Internet, estórias e ensaios de fotografia, pintura, desenho, colagem, modelagem, escultura e costura deixam espreitar os carcinomas, sarcomas, linfomas e leucemias que fazem a soma das experiências que dão corpo a este texto. Dizer que a doença se desdobra como uma experiência modular e que os objetos existem e agem no cancro como realidades encastráveis, assenta numa abordagem teórica e metodológica onde ensaio o potencial explicativo daquilo a que chamo a “terceira metade das coisas e do conhecimento”. (Buy it in local bookstores or directly from Almedina, CES-Almedina Book Series, "Knowledge and Institutions", number 10)