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Soft Heroes and Unusual Detectives: Researching Bodily Par

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The body has become a central element in the Basque cultural production, even if it arrived with some delay in relation to the international practices. Within this context, this case study research examines the use of parody as a strategy to put the female body in the centre. For this purpose, this communication analyses works by the writer Itxaro Borda (Bayonne, 1959) and the multidisciplinary artist Ana Laura Aláez (Bilbao, 1964). The first part is dedicated to one of the major Basque language writers, whose work is nowadays being revisited by researchers from different perspectives, ranging from sexuality to politics. Borda is especially known for her detective fiction series (1994-2007), where Amaia Ezpeldoi is the main protagonist, a lesbian detective whose traits are contrary to the stereotypical agent. Ezpeldoi’s character is analysed through her bodily experience by using narratology from a feminist perspective. The second part of the study investigates five textile sculptures created by Aláez, one of the artists who represented Spain in the 49th Venice Biennale in 2001. Between 1992-1993, she created sculptural artworks reimagining how to dress heroes and villains. Her work is examined through concepts of semiotics and applied psychoanalysis. As a result of this comparative study, it can be claimed that parody proves to be a highly effective ally in drawing attention to alternative imaginaries to the existing dominant ones, by in this particular cases, putting the female body in the centre as the main heroic subject.

Maite Luengo Aguirre, University of the Basque Country, Spain

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