09 June 2011

School report

Part of the MFA course is what they call the postgraduate symposium. Each student gets up and talks about their research for 15 minutes, then answers questions from the floor for five minutes. This will happen this year on 8 July.

I expect it will be hard going, to say the least.

We are also meant to provide a two to three thousand word essay summarising our research so far.

I've just tried to write out the guts of my argument as a series of points (the idea being that each will become several paragraphs).

It should give you a laugh.

It's called 'Perspective painting proves nothing exists':
  1. There is no intrinsic meaning in the world – neither god nor science.
  2. Individuals cannot construct meaning, because any such meaning would be fictional.
  3. No other meaning is possible.
  4. Therefore, the pursuit of any meaning to life is futile.
  5. The only way to live life free from illusions is to embrace its meaninglessness.
  6. However, the individual is embedded in society, a meaning-making machine.
  7. Social institutions + constructed meaning = social control.
  8. That leaves avant-garde art and crime.
  9. As Guy Debord recognised, art occupies a 'privileged position' within society – part of it on one hand, but separate on another.
  10. It is in this separate sphere that I choose to operate – within pictorial space.
  11. Consider perspective painting: not as the naturalistic illusionism decried by early modernists but simply as a method of dividing a painted surface to convey meaning – a meaning that says something profound about the way the individual relates to the world.
  12. The first step in constructing a perspective scheme is locating the viewer in relation to the space to be portrayed – this gives you the 'visual pyramid' from the viewer's eye to the corners of the picture surface, which is to be considered as a window on that space.
  13. That is, space is relative – an object's position in space is not absolute but relative to other objects from a given point of view.
  14. As Kant points out, this means that perception of space (and time) is an a priori property of the viewer's mind.
  15. The viewing subject gives the world coherence through perception of space and time. In turn, perceiving the world as coherent gives the subject coherence.
  16. However, neither the subject nor the world is a coherent unity. Both subject and world are made up of contradictory elements. Any apparent unity is an illusion produced by the mind. Neither self nor world exist.
  17. Perspective painting encodes the process by which both self and world are fictively constructed.

    Perspective painting proves nothing exists.


Rose said...

On point 8: buddhism.

David Cauchi said...


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