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SlideShare utilise les cookies pour améliorer les fonctionnalités et les performances, et également pour vous montrer des publicités pertinentes. Si vous continuez à naviguer sur ce site, vous acceptez l’utilisation de cookies. Consultez notre Politique de confidentialité et nos Conditions d’utilisation pour en savoir plus.
From childhood men have an instinct for
representation, and in this respect man differs from
the other animals that he is far more imitative and
learns his first lessons by representing things.
Lascaux cave paintings
c 30,000 BC
Venus of Willendorf
c 28,000 - 25,000 BC
• Aristotle defined all the arts—verbal, visual, and musical—as modes of
representation, and went even further to make representation the definitively human
• Representation refers to images that are clearly recognizable for what they purport to
be. “Non-representational art” consists of images that have no clear identity, and
must be interpreted by the viewer
• Art is a representational practice and its products are representations
• E.g. portraits, traditional landscapes, paintings of everyday life, historical or
mythological scenes, still lifes and various types of figurative…
• Representational painters typically act as observers and try to reproduce what they
• Viewers and readers engage with representations
• In Book X of the Republic, Plato argued that art copies
particular things. He gives the example of a bed. There is the
perfect Form of a bed; then, as a kind of copy of that, a
carpenter makes a bed; a painting of a bed is a copy of the
• Plato’s postulation of an Ideal world of Forms states that Ideal
Form pre-exists any actually. Representation can only ever be
an imperfect copy of an Ideal Form. Aristotles interest in
mimesis, rather than Platos Ideal Forms has come to inform
the debate on models and copies.
• In the modern world, representation has come to be understood as the
structure that enables representationalism to dominate our contemporary
way of thinking. Representationalism is a system of thought that fixes the
world as an object and resource for human subjects.
“Set out before oneself and to set forth in relation to oneself.
Through this, whatever is comes to a stand as object and in
that way alone receives the seal of Being. That the world
becomes picture is one and the same event with the event of
mans becoming subiectum in the midst of that which is.”
– “MAN AS REPRESENTING SUBJECT”
CINDY SHERMAN- UNTITLED FILM STILL (1978-1980)
• In the visual arts, art theorists and historians continue to ground their
discussions of art on the unquestioned assumption that art is representational.
Representation provides a standard by which artistic merit can be judged.
“Among the problems raised by representational practices the most
fundamental are surely those arising in connection with representations that
might as well in the unassuming terms of ordinary language be called non-verbal.
Of these, visible (or visual) representations are prominent, and have
always served the purposes of discussion in an exemplary way.” - “On Non-verbal
Representation” (1997) by Donald Brook
• An important foundation for all visual art, because it depends upon an artist's
proficiency and skills which underpin numerous forms of visual art
• Helps to make art accessible to the general public
• Art in modern times has been devoted to overcoming
the limits of representation.
“A question of extending representation as far as the
too large and the too small of difference; of adding a
hitherto unsuspected perspective to representation it
is a question of causing a little Dionysian blood to flow
in the organic veins of Apollo.” - Gilles Deleuze
• N O N - R E P R E S E N T A T I O N A L ?
W H AT I S R E P R E S E N T A T I O N ?
• To replace the human activities, thoughts and logic of them
by the means of art, in other words, representation is the
imitation of the reality and so as to reflect it.
• To reflect and re-present the “truth”
• To imitate the nature
Aristotle discusses representation in three ways—
The object: The symbol being represented.
Manner: The way the symbol is represented.
Means: The material that is used to represent it.
Eugene Manet on the Isle of Wight, , 1875
Boat in the Flood at Port Marly, 1986
IMPRESSIONISM - CLAUDE MONET
Water Lily Pond, Evening, 1926
IMPRESSIONISM - CLAUDE MONET
l'Homme au Balcon, 1912
Portrait of Picasso, 1912
Still Life with Cane Chair (1907)
Willem de Kooning
The Liver is the Cock's Comb, 1944
Gray Tree, 1911
Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow,
Ocean Park No.129, 1984
SIMULACRA AND SIMULATION
According to baudrillard:
What has happened in postmodern culture is that our society has
become so reliant on models and maps that we have lost all
contact with the real world that preceded the map. Reality itself
has begun merely to imitate the model, which now precedes and
determines the real world.
ART BEYOND REPRESENTAT I O N : T H E
PERFORMATIVE POWER OF THE IMAGE
Bolt, Barber: art is performative, rather than merely a
representational practice. Through creative practice, a dynamic
material exchange can occur between objects, bodies and
images. In the dynamic productivity of material practice, reality
can get into images. Imaging can produce real material effects
in the world. The mutual reflection between objects, images
and bodies, forms the deformational and transformative
potential of images.
1 9 4 0 S - 1 9 5 0 S
Art critic Harold Rosenberg:
• In the 1940s and 1950s, Action painting gave artists the
freedom to perform.
• “What was to go on canvas was not a picture but an event.
Pollock’s work, in particular, looked forward to the
performance art and happenings of the 1960s. Look at a
Pollock and you have a record of his performance.”
1 9 6 0 S - 1 9 7 0 S
• Performative art often derived from concepts of visual
art, with respect to Antonin Artaud, Dada, the
Situationists, Fluxus, installation art and conceptual art,
performance art tended to challenge orthodox art forms
and cultural norms.
• Adrian Parr, in “The Deleuze Dictionary” gave a
postmodern philosophical interpretation of Performance
art: “An authentic experience for performer and
audience in an event that could not be repeated,
captured or purchased.” “
Avenza, a sculpture
consisting of a plaster
base supporting a
Bourgeois used an
additional latex cast from
the same mould to make
garment she wore in a
famous photograph taken
in 1975 by Peter Moore
• Academic style of figural painting
• 1989 increased exposure to Western
contemporary art, experiment with
performance and installation art.
• Performance in the Lhasa River, Tibet
• explores the impact of transcribed
words that leave no semantic trace.
• Site specific performance recorded in
set of 36 photos showing artist
repeatedly stamping water with large
wood seal carved with ⽔水.
• Annual ritual, statue is in the water,
the river bears the image of the Buddha;
when removed, the essence of Buddha
• Stamping the river with this symbol,
became a way of ritually purifying it as it
made its way from the Tibetan highlands
to Beijing, where it arrives much polluted
owing to man’s intrusions.
• It represented the headwaters of
China’s great rivers that, figuratively at
least, flowed to Beijing – from whence
political control flowed back to Tibet.
COLLECTING PERFORMATIVE AT THE
• A Research Network Examining Emerging Practice for Collecting and Conserving
• Challenging the museum’s remit
• Identify concept of a work and related notions of authorship, authenticity, autonomy,
documentation, memory, continuity and liveness.
• Public and private collections are rapidly beginning to acquire significant
performance artworks from 1960s and 1970s as well as works by contemporary artists.
• Changing traditional approaches
• Museum object is materially bound and fixed. But performance art is non-material.
Re-perform at the museum through video and internet.