May 2016. Published in Journal of Fandom Studies Volume 4, Issue 1.
‘If Duchamp’s toilet can be a masterpiece…’: Slash manips as fannish readymades
This article performs textual analysis of works from two slash manip artists – Tumblr’s wandsinhand and LiveJournal’s mythagowood – to argue that the form can be understood as a fannish form of ‘readymades’. I perform a comparative analysis of Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain and the use of the toilet as a central sign in wandsinhand’s practice. The works of mythagowood are then examined. I use excerpts from various interviews with the artist to explore his practice, its connection with the Supernatural canon and his unique construction, ‘Sammy’. I compare his practice to that of figurative painter Francis Bacon and the statements his art makes on meat, beasts and sexuality. Framing my reading of the oeuvres of wandsinhand and mythagowood around Duchamp’s concept of ‘readymades’ and Bacon’s representation of meat demonstrates the potential for slash manips to explore the instability and malleability of the male sexed body, highlighting these objects’ aesthetic, artistic and cultural significance.