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By Chris Gilleard, Paul Higgs

This publication investigates the emergence of a 'new getting old' and its realisation throughout the physique. The paintings explores new varieties of embodiment curious about id and care of the self, that have visible the physique develop into a website for getting older in a different way - for getting older with no turning into old.

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Extra info for Ageing, corporeality and embodiment

Example text

Even if such concerns about body image are now present among some men, the origins of this makeover culture relied heavily upon the profits that could be made from marketing cosmetics and fashions to women (Jones 2010). It is in these industries that the body as a visual image has been most constantly represented. The relationship between consumer culture, identity and the body has been, and continues to be, a contested topic. While there are differences in theoretical positions and the positions they seek to represent, what is notable is that they seek to provide a basis for judgements about what is and what is not acceptable as forms of bodily appearance, bodily practice or dressing the body.

In the male breadwinner ethos of modernity, men’s identities were conferred largely by their work. Their lifestyle was structured by their jobs and their wives. Freedom and self-expression were to be found, if anywhere, in pubs and bars, their consumerism constrained to the consolations of their companions. Throughout the decades either side of the 1960s, the ageing body was of concern only to the various nationalised health care systems that were being consolidated in Europe and in North America, the latter secured for the old and the poor alone, by the passage of the Medicare and Medicaid legislation that formed part of the 1965 Social Security Act.

These technologies and practices are no longer so carefully policed and boundaried, as they first were, by age. Variously expressed as ‘appearance management’ (Cahill 1989; Goffman 1971), ‘body maintenance’ (Featherstone 1982), ‘body work’ (Gimlin 2002; Twigg and Atkin 2000) or ‘bodysense’ (Coleman 1990) the fashioning and refashioning of the body has become a lifelong enterprise and, perhaps, a lifelong chore. The greater their penetration into everyday life, the more they undermine the stability that previously was attached to identities that were embodied as ‘foundationalist’ social forms.

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