This cross-disciplinary book, situated on the periphery of culture, employs humour to better comprehend the arts, the outsider and exclusion, illuminating the ever-changing social landscape, the vagaries of taste and limits of political correctness.
Each chapter deals with specific themes and approaches – from the construct of outsider and complexity of humour, to Outsider Art and spaces – using various theoretical and analytical methods. Paul Clements draws on humour, especially from visual arts and culture (and to a lesser extent literature, film, music and performance), as a tool of ridicule, amongst other discourses, employed by the powerful but also as a weapon to satirize them. These ambiguous representations vary depending on context, often assimilated then reinterpreted in a game of authenticity that is poignant in a world of facsimile and 'fake news'. The humour styles of a range of artists are highlighted to reveal the fluidity and diversity of meaning which challenges expectations and at its best offers resistance and, crucially, a voice for the marginal.
This book will be of particular interest to scholars in art history, cultural studies, fine art, humour studies and visual culture.
Table of Contents
- Approaches to humour and laughter
- The construct of outsider: media labelling, 'othering' and excluded minds
- The construct of outsider: identity, the body and representation
- Humorous representations of the outsider: hybridity, utility and carnivalesque
- Representations of humour by marginal artists
- Creative outsider spaces and dark heterotopias
- Transgression, spectacle and political correctness
Paul Clements is Lecturer at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He is the author of The Creative Underground: Art, Politics and Everyday Life (Routledge, 2017) and Charles Bukowski, Outsider Literature, and the Beat Movement (Routledge, 2013).