University of Tasmania
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Opening up the world of things with sculpture

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posted on 2023-05-26, 18:13 authored by Langridge, CF
This project develops an alternative understanding of what art is or can be. Martin Heidegger's writings on art have led this investigation of how the art work functions as an object and what that might mean from a philosophical point of view. Heidegger's positioning of ontology over epistemology provides an alternative account to the dominant Western paradigm which valorises knowledge. I have developed sculptures which address the issue of being rather than communication. The works function to create openings, placing the being of the thing into question. I have chosen to work with simple trade processes to construct skeletal, airy sculptures that describe a central empty space. The objects I have made are constructed containers that employ structural elements that are bent and held under tension. These bent elements are contrasted with straight linear sections. Most of the sculptures sit upon a curved base that renders them unstable. This instability allows the potential for real motion and also lends the works an air of fragility. I have developed ways to build stable curved structures, using either salvaged or new wood as my main material. The reasons for this are pragmatic and relate to availability, structural integrity and weight, and personal taste. Other materials such as metal and fabric have been employed. usually for pragmatic structural ends but also to add to the functional aesthetic. The project has established a position for the work that sits between the familiar and the unfamiliar. The aim has been to create sculptures with affinities to objects with which we are familiar so that the viewer almost 'knows' what it is. Then, because of the ultimately ambiguous nature of the thing created, he or she is left wondering what it is. By raising questions regarding knowledge, truth and being, it is my intention to make manifest to the viewer, as they contemplate the sculptures, the unresolved tension that continues to exist between the disciplines of ontology and epistemology.


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Copyright 2002 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (M.F.A.)--University of Tasmania, 2002. Includes bibliographical references

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