01 July 2011

Some things in Wellington to go to

And on 8 July, Massey University is holding its postgraduate symposium in the cryptically named 4B06, at which the MFA candidates (and one PhD candidate) present their 'research'.

Things kick off at 9.45am, and everyone is welcome. They're going in alphabetical order, so I'm up first at 10. Apparently, I talk for 20 minutes, then parry questions from the floor. I don't know if it's any indication, but my crit last week quickly descended into a shouting match between the staff and me.

Here is my abstract:
The common-sense nihilist guide to art parahistory: An introduction

What is art parahistory?

The prefix para- means ʻbesideʼ (as in paramilitary) or ʻbeyondʼ (as in paranormal). Therefore, art parahistory stands beside, or perhaps beyond, art history.

Art parahistory seeks out the hidden, or occult, connections between things – intertemporal, rather than historical, connections.

The most interesting of these connections are between the early Renaissance and early Modernism. They were both revolutionary avant-garde movements that utterly transformed painting, the only art form that matters. This presentation will focus on certain connections with the early Renaissance.

It will demonstrate both the art parahistorical method and why figurative painting is the pre-eminent vehicle for ideas – the true conceptual art – by showing how perspective painting proves nothing exists.

As Piero della Francesca wrote in one of the first historical instances of avant-garde trash-talking of the conservative academic opposition, ‘Certainly many painters who do not use perspective have also been the object of praise; however, they were praised with faulty judgement by men with no knowledge of the value of this art.’

The presentation will also discuss the implications these conclusions have for my wider non-MFA-related painting.
The PhD candidate, Peter Trevelyan, is last at 2.15pm. He will also be talking about perspective.

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