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Title: Slippages between the picture plane and the painting surface : an analysis, through my paintings, of specular highlights, proximal spaces and the Lacanian gaze
Author: Moloney, Donal
ISNI:       0000 0004 7226 2245
Awarding Body: University of the Arts London
Current Institution: University of the Arts London
Date of Award: 2015
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The aim of this practice-based research project is to examine how specular highlights and proximal spaces, when perceived through the Lacanian gaze, might confound our perception of Cartesian perspectivalism in representational painting. I will analyse and question such a combination of specific visual characteristics identified within three of my paintings and related theories of looking. Specifically, these include Hal Foster’s (1996: 138) reading of the ways in which the Lacanian ‘gaze’ disrupts Cartesian perspectivalism, Norman Bryson’s (1990: 71, 79) writing on the reversal of the ‘Albertian gaze’ and Arthur Faisman and Michael S. Langer’s (2013: 1) definition of ‘specular highlights’. By analysing and mapping theoretical concerns that come from close readings of three of my paintings I will investigate whether or not our perception of Cartesian perspectivalism can be somewhat confounded by these specific visual characteristics. I will also discuss how overloading the viewer with an excessive use of specular highlights could disrupt any underlying narratives within the paintings. This will be done by subsequently re-examining these theoretical concerns back through my painting practice, forming what Dean and Smith (2009: 19) have termed an ‘Iterative Cyclic Web’. My hypothesis is that these three paintings may be nexus for a particular oscillation between different ways of looking contained within the paintings I will discuss: looking through the surface, looking across the surface and a form of being looked at from inside the surface. This thesis will be underpinned by two interconnected elements. Firstly, there will be an exhibition of selected paintings I have made, together with painting experiments and supporting material. Secondly, chapters in this text will outline the theoretical analysis of my painting practice and the subsequent studio-based analysis of questions derived from the theoretical analysis. This thesis as a whole will closely follow a practice-based research methodology drawn from Katie MacLeod’s (2000: online) writing on ‘revealing a practice’. I will move back and forth between practice and writing as a method for analysing and developing a multifaceted response to my research question.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History of Art ; Painting