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Title: Strategies of camouflage : invisibility, schizoanalysis and multifocality in contemporary visual art
Author: Zohar, Ayelet
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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This is a project exploring camouflage and multifocality as a practice and theory based research, reflecting the mental state of disappearance that develops into multifocal existence, in the cultural context. The practice element consists of an installation, composed of four consecutive spaces, video-projections, paintings and objects, performing a trajectory between camouflage and multifocality. The first part engages with theoretical readings of camouflage as the effect of mimicry, proceeding into imperceptibility, consequently leading to loss of subjectivity, through self-shattering (Bersani) as a schizoanalytic process (Deleuze & Guattari) and the loss of identity within culture (Bhabha). Multifocality, therefore, is the materialisation of a rhizomatic structure and the multiplicity of gazes - as performed in installation art. Following the theoretical discussion, the subject-matter expands into two themes, articulating camouflage in contemporary art: There follows a view of the skin - as the location of self (Anzieu), and the Chinese understanding of the skin as a perforated layer, connecting the (hollow) body to the world (Kuriyama), where camouflage transforms skin into a visual membrane. Artists introduced here , are Yayoi Kusama, Takashi Murakami, Andy Warhol, Zhang Huan, and Seidou Keita among others. Disappearance and invisibility are considered as modes of intervention, through the media images of spectres of suicide-bombers (Derrida) and ghostwriting (Spivak). Consequently, invisibility ends in shattering and the consequent creation of multifocality. Artists presented include Banksy, Guerrilla Girls, Andre Serrano, Ibrahim Nubani, Morimura Yasumasa, Yinka Shonebare and others. Concluding with After Effects, I discuss projects that deal with multifocality as the final effect of the camouflaging process, and consider the works of Sawada Tomoko, Isaac Julien, Mike Nelson, Yan Zhenzhong, Kutlug Ataman, Candice Breitz and Mark Wallinger. The project is accompanied by images and discussion of my own visual work in relation to the intellectual texts and the work of other artists presented.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available