La restriction d’accès aux articles les plus récents des revues sous abonnement a été rétablie le 12 janvier 2021. Pour consulter ces articles, vous pouvez notamment passer par le portail de ressources numériques de l’une des 1 200 institutions partenaires ou abonnées d’Érudit. Plus d'informations

Comptes rendusReviews

Deborah Davidson (ed.). The Tattoo Project: Commemorative Tattoos, Visual Culture, and the Digital Archive. (Toronto, ON: 2017, Canadian Scholars’ Press Inc. Pp. 222, ISBN 978-1551309453.)[Notice]

  • Ceallaigh S. MacCath-Moran

…plus d’informations

  • Ceallaigh S. MacCath-Moran
    Memorial University of Newfoundland

Contributor Andreas Kitzmann writes that “commemorative tattoos occupy a type of liminal space between the interiority of the mind and the exterior yet highly personal space of the body” (41). Various academic contributions explore this liminality to good effect. For example, Kitzmann’s own discussion of loss and trauma highlights the narrative functions of tattoos to tattooed persons, both as a means to reflect upon a tragedy and as a means to discuss it with interested others. Kay Inckle argues that both tattoos and intentional scars can be seen as “embodied processes of mourning” (117), thereby critiquing the philosophy of mind-body dualism, where the body is a passive object the mind acts upon. And in a notable departure from the study of tattoos as representations of loss, trauma, and mourning, Gina Snooks addresses the connections between mind, body, and spirit created by women who “manifest sacredness by inking their flesh” (125) with images meaningful to their spiritual lives. Autoethnographic contributions further explore this liminality in the lived experiences of writers like Siphiwe Ignatius Dube, whose tattooed cheetah spots invite conversation about the ways he encounters the world as a person of colour, an African male, and a gender scholar (142). Likewise, Stephanie Pangowish writes that her eighteen tattoos express indigeneity, connection to family, hope for the future, and the importance of women in indigenous communities (145). There are several such personal narratives in the text; some are the standalone contributions of tattooed persons, and others may be found in the accounts of interviewees. These are both compelling and necessary to the collection because they provide contextual links between the study of commemorative tattoos and the process of selecting, inking, and living with them. Theoretical contributions include Letherby and Davidson’s discussion of creative methodologies as emotional, embodied, involving, evolving, and reflexive practices that endeavor to engage audiences within and beyond the academy (49) and their subsequent discussion of (auto)biographical method and practice, which acknowledges the intersections between self and society in qualitative knowledge production. These are useful touchstones to research principles employed in the project, but they are also somewhat abstract and might have been more effective if the topic of the text and digital archive had been more thoroughly integrated into the two discussions, especially in the first case. Moreover, these chapters and the one that follows them might also have been placed directly after the introduction in order to ground the reader in relevant theory before presenting the work it informs. Other contributions explore a variety of topics related to commemorative tattoos including Margo DeMello’s condensed but valuable cultural history of tattooing and Arthur McLuhan’s analysis of the artist-client relationship via his interview with Canadian tattoo artist Wayne Galbraith. McLuhan’s rich and informative work is a seamless blending of scholarship with the voice of an experienced industry professional, which describes several types of commemorative tattoos and details the consultation, design, and inking processes. And in a postmodern approach to the topic, Priscilla Uppal’s poem “Not a Cliché” engages with grief itself by inviting the reader to think of sunrises without light, breath without oxygen, fire without heat, and other unfathomable voids. The relentless rhythm of her stanzas is punctuated by “The fact that you are gone is not factual,” or “You are not a cliché,” poignant recreations in words of the disbelieving mind mourning the loss of a loved one. The final chapters in the collection are devoted to an exploration of issues relevant to the construction and maintenance of a community-driven digital archive. Of note, Hanemaayer and Schneider contend that digital spaces facilitate the co-production of knowledge in non-hierarchical …