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House/broken: Debbie Drechsler's "Daddy's Girl" and the crisis of the house

By Christi Kayte Young


HOUSE/BROKEN examines the relationship between architecture and its inhabitants. It focuses on the single-family dwelling, and specifically investigates the relationship between a child-victim of domestic sexual abuse and the space of the house. These issues are explored through the work of artist Debbie Drechsler. Drechsler's book Daddy's Girl is a comic book depiction of a child's life inside a sexually and emotionally abusive home. The comic strip narratives in Daddy's Girl are carefully read for what they can reveal about the complex relationship between a child-victim and the dangerous place called "home". I draw upon the work of Elaine Scarry to consider how architectural elements such as rooms and doors, and objects within the house such as beds and cookie jars, are transformed in to weapons, traps, warnings, friends, or signs of danger---through the routine practice of abuse

Topics: American studies, Women's studies, Architecture
Year: 2003
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