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Title: The visibility of glass in contemporary art
Author: Edamura , Taisuke
ISNI:       0000 0003 6816 1858
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis discusses the visibility of glass in contemporary art. By "visibility," I mean the potential perceptual and epistemological character of the material that can undermine its understanding exclusively in terms of transparency. Glass may seem to lack visual interest because of its transparency; our focus apparently lies on the other side of a glass pane. Glass mediates between here and there, between the subject and the object, and between seeing and being seen, without calling attention to its mediation. The more invisible this mediating function of glass becomes, the less visible its other material qualities are, even though, as I argue, each can have the same importance as transparency• in contributing to the meaning of the material. The distinctive use of (un)broken glass in contemporary art prompts a reconsideration of our understanding of the "invisibilization" of glass across different levels. Diverse works are brought together in this thesis because they all challenge conventional understanding in their presentation of glass, treating it either as an image or as a real object; as a subject matter or as an artistic medium; and as an aesthetic phenomenon or as a perceptual experience. More importantly, these works collectively serve to demonstrate the ambiguity of glass by revealing a variety of contrasts in its character, including those between durability and fragility, between transience and endurance, and between transparency and opacity. Through examining the sheer diversity of the physical manifestation and conceptual exploration of glass since Marcel Duchamp's The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (1915-1923), whose chance breakage opened up a new perspective on evaluating the potential of the material, this study aims to cultivate a keen awareness of the reality of glass that resists being incorporated into a conventional discourse in which only its role as inconspicuous mediator is crucial.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available