Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Thinking aloud on the address of the viewer
Author: Elfving, Taru
ISNI:       0000 0004 2686 1933
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths, University of London
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2009
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
The thesis examines the viewer's position in relation to contemporary moving image installations, particularly the work of the artist and filmmaker Eija-Liisa Ahtila (b. 1959, Finland). It maps out a shift in research from the analysis, occupation and rethinking of subject positions to the mobilisation and inhabitation of encounters, where the positions are in constant becoming. In dialogue with Luce Irigaray's philosophical thought and related theoretical discourse, it traces a shift from the disruption of dualism with strategic mimesis to the critical inhabitation of a space of mediation opened up by resemblance. In terms of methodologies in the field of visual culture this implies a move from the problematics of representation, and from deconstructive and re-signifying practices, to questions of the viewer's and researcher's implication. The argument is structured around two parts, firstly on the Girl as an unmarked figure that unsettles definitions of centred, identity-based subjectivities and their gendered attributes. The figure emerges here not as a representation but as an event, while the focus is drawn from interiority as the core of a subject to surfaces as sites of contacts. This leads to the second part of the argument, on the notion of the address, which initiates a further shift of attention onto the modes by which the works and the characters in them allow and call for the viewer's involvement. The thesis examines these moves with the use of the concepts of staining, haunting, thinking aloud and witnessing, which all emphasise outward and forward orientation. They focus on boundaries as sites of disruption and production of positions of viewing, thinking and speaking, instead of as their markers. Through close reading of Ahtila's works the thesis argues for active viewership that demands constant critical situated ness in terms of affiliations arising from communication.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available