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Title: Presence and representation
Author: Giannaroudis, Konstantinos
ISNI:       0000 0004 2733 6225
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2012
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The act of representation is, to an extent, a sine qua non condition within the artistic process and always acquires its meaning in relation to a presence. Presence acts as an internal or external stimulus, and re-presentation is the effect of a presence. From this perspective, I have examined the work of Francis Bacon, Susan Hiller, Giorgio Morandi, Gerhard Richter, Iannis Xenakis, and, among others, the theories of Giorgio Agamben, Benjamin Buchloch, Daniel Chandler, Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Derrida, Hal Foster and Henri Lefebvre. Within the frame of this enquiry, I have created a series of polyptychs exploring different possibilities, correlations and aspects of my topic. The internal or external stimulus for the creation of these series varies: from recorded video stills of London’s urban scenery to a one-wave loop videotaped at a Greek coast, and from a specific architectural site to various landscapes – all painted in situ or from photographs. Although this variety calls for dissimilar creative strategies for each polyptych, all of them are connected with each other, as they share the following properties: • the openness, which practically relativizes the beginning and the end of the artwork, the part and the whole, the real space–time and the imagery space–time, • the rhythm (practically, its simplified form is repetition), as the element that makes the synthesis and unification of different states of presence possible – through the function of consonance, • the pictorial language (i.e., colour, line, shape, etc.), as the intermediate between the individual and the collective evaluation of the artwork. In the context of my semisite-specific practice, I reactivate the notion of topicality to approximate the foundation of a stable and real ground where the artwork forms and develops. By exploring the act of representation, I discuss the poetic metaphor from and to the real, the constitution of the real and its consequences on how we value art. I argue that, both practically and theoretically, rhythm is identified through the principle of presence, and I examine rhythm as the methodological tool whose vibration penetrates practical experimentation and whose contents are susceptible to theoretical exploration. Odysseas Elytis’ poem eloquently describes the experience that artists relish during the creative process – the poetic point of view. By the same token, art practice repulses a well established methodology, thus maintaining an entropy, or an openness. I put forward the hypothesis that rhythm can offer a sustainable methodological tool for art practice-based areas of study. In my research, I explore the structure and limits of visual/pictorial language, that are simultaneously historical and physical. Practically, this exploration is correlated with a quest for the proper (proportion, colour, gesture, etc.) within my compositions – i.e., a search on artistic manipulation and its criteria of evalutation. Finally, I investigate the theoretical context of Presence and Representation, its relation to the real and how different comprehensions correspond with and influence different viewpoints and theses, which, in turn, have personal and social consequences. As Daniel Chandler (1994) indicates, it is unavoidable to ask ‘whose realities are privileged in particular representations’, a recognition which eschews a retreat to mere subjectivism, as it ‘pays due tribute to the unequal distribution of power in the social world.’
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral