Bad Girls and Sick Boys: Fantasies in Contemporary Art and Culture

University of California Press, 1998

Kauffman turns the pornography debate on its head with this audacious analysis of recent taboo-shattering fiction, film, and performance art. Investigating the role of fantasy in art, politics, and popular culture, she shows how technological advances in medicine and science have profoundly altered our concepts of the human body. Kauffman boldly connects the dots between the radical artists who challenge legal and aesthetic conventions. She links writers like John Hawkes and Robert Coover to Kathy Acker and William Vollman; filmmakers like Ngozi Onwurah and Isaac Julien to Brian De Palma and Gus Van Sant; and performers like Carolee Schneemann and Annie Sprinkle to the visual arts. Kauffman's lively interviews with J.G. Ballard, David Cronenberg, Bob Flanagan, and Orlan add an extraordinary dimension to her timely and convincing argument.