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Title: Useful fictions : re-enactment as a strategy for locating the contemporary in painting
Author: Turner, Alaena Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 8498 9441
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2019
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This practice-led research project constructs the paradoxical claim that painting is at its most contemporary when it is archival. This addresses the problem of how to situate a historical medium within our current digital, globalised age, offering a new approach by synthesising recent accounts of a network aesthetic (David Joselit) with theories of contemporaneity (Peter Osborne/ Terry Smith) and archival practice (Hal Foster/ Craig Staff). I will propose that through archival operations of collecting, organising and conserving past cultural material, painting might express contemporaneity, operating as both installation and as score. This is approached as a response to a 'perceived loss of history', or 'a loss of a futural moment' (Geoff Cox/ Jacob Lund), understood in relation to the legacies of Modernism. Re-enactment, described by Joan Gibbons as 'relational or participatory forms of memory-work', offers a strategy to think as if from a different temporal perspective or alternate subject position, and will be developed over the course of this thesis as a critical methodology. This will encompass acts of re-construction, re-materialisation and recollection, working in the capacity of artist-curator and as an individual practitioner, to explore the ways in which re-enactment engages and constructs public and private memory. Through a case study tracing the posthumous circulation of elements of Piet Mondrian's studio I will pursue the motivations and implications of re-enactment as it intersects with painting. This develops an argument that re-enactment constitutes a new form of seriality, marked by a relationship to the act of fictioning.
Supervisor: Ferguson, Catherine ; Morgan, Diane Sponsor: AHRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available