University of Tasmania
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Concept & form : post-philosophical studies in contemporary art

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posted on 2023-05-27, 12:45 authored by Wear, AP
This thesis identifies a problem within current philosophical perspectives concerning contemporary visual art, namely, the underestimation of the unique qualities of a concept in visual form. There is a related deficit in the literature about both the practice of contemporary art making as a cognitive manipulation of concept and form, and the ways in which the viewer might dissect the relationship between concept and form in philosophical inquiry. This thesis explores two central claims. First, that visual art allows for a spatial and temporal conflation of concept that manufactures a unique philosophical realm more readily cognitively assimilated than with the written or spoken word. Second, that a post-philosophical reading of some contemporary art works is possible whereby both pursuits might inform each other, forging expanded potential in inquiry. The thesis takes the form of detailed case studies of single works of art and their relationship with particular models/instances/paradigms of philosophical thinking. Presenting select works of art by Joseph Beuys, Anselm Kiefer and Hanne Darboven, the thesis explores how this range of contemporary works of art engage concurrently produced works of philosophy. This thesis ends with the author's personal account of the cognitive manipulation of concept and form as an insight into the creation of a work of art. The thesis submits that a greater understanding of contemporary art practice - from conception to exhibition - can vitalize philosophical inquiry by illuminating the cognitive process beyond written and spoken language. Scope for further research might incorporate questions concerning the emancipatory qualities of a more accessible philosophical realm, particularly concerning pedagogical or political engagement with visual representation. Such research would necessitate ongoing attention to the method and practice of 'readmg' visual representation.


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Copyright 2010 the author Thesis (PhD)--University of Tasmania, 2010. Includes bibliographical references

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