Vol 3(2), Dec 2016

“Studies in Visual Arts and Communication –
an international journal”

Volume 3 – Nr 2, 2016

Table of Contents

December 2016; 3(2)

1. Pamela Bianchi, PhD – University of Paris VIII, Paris

The Random Placement of Art : An Alternative Presentation of the Collection
Studies in Visual Arts and Communication – an international journal / December 2016 3(2)

In recent years, the collection’s presentation has experienced an important development in terms of display methods and theoretical and ontological reformulation. From the abandonment of the diachronic approach, to the “narrativity” of the collection’s set-up, to the Carte Blanche given to artists, or the performing arts’ interaction: among the main goals, there is the collection’s re-thinking and the museum’s enhancement, through the highlighting of its “spectacular” nature. Event strategies.
On the basis of these considerations, this essay focuses on the aleatory method of presentation (based on the computer choice) and its relation to traditional exhibition approaches, as a new form of “spectacular” event. The paper studies the relationship between the new exhibition practices and the discourses of art history, alongside the analysis of historical examples. The exhibition organized by Rudy Fuchs in 1983 at the Van Abbe Museum, as well as exhibition experiences of John Cage, introduce the main case study: the cycle of homonym exhibitions, Rolywholyover (2007-2009), at the MAMCO of Geneva.
These examples, by introducing the idea of random arrangement, propose a new and different gaze on the concept of Collection, which erases the implicit subjective nature of a traditional exhibition arrangement. Therefore, a (seemingly) “non-narrative” form of collection emerges, relying on the mechanical matching and the ephemeral juxtaposition of works.
Considering the Collection as an “abstract” place of possible and endless exhibitions, it emerges not only the holistic nature of the art’s museographic placement but also a trend in the contemporary practices of collection’s presentation that chooses the new, the spectacular, the unusual.

Keywords: Collection, Exhibition display, Randomness, Museums, Contemporary Art

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2. Sigal Barkai, PhD – Faculty of Arts, Kibbutzim College Tel-Aviv, Israel

“Historiographic Irony”: on Art, Nationality and In-Between Identities
Studies in Visual Arts and Communication – an international journal / December 2016 3(2)

The paper deals with questions of identities of native Israeli artists who chose to live out of the country, or to move back and forth to and from it. It asks about the ways these wanderings are reflected in their artwork. “Historiographic Irony” is a hybrid notion, combining criticism of historical narratives concerning the Israeli state with ironic artistic expression.
The article discusses the work of four contemporary artists who produce artworks in diverse techniques, such as video, performance and installation art. Yael Bartana, Erez Israeli and Tamir Zadok are artists who constantly deal with Israeli nationality and history in their artwork, using ironic components. In comparison, I examined the works of Mika Rottenberg, who is now a New York based artist. She is concerned with global social issues and neglected specific national identity altogether. All of them use visual irony as a means of reflecting and criticizing society.
The analysis was done in awareness of the life stories of the artists, in an attempt to trace the ways they establish their identities through their art. I pre-supposed that these identities will be shaped in the in-between space of being an Israeli citizen and a citizen of the world. I asked how ironic expression appears in their work, what kind of irony do they use and in what ways does it serves them.
The methodology combined visual analysis, interviews with the artists and analyzation of secondary discourses in the media. As theoretical background I used various fields of knowledge such as literature and language studies, Sociology, and Visual Culture studies. Definitions of Irony from other fields of knowledge were adjusted to art review and analysis.
The findings point out that visual and artistic irony has many different goals in the use of historiographic fiction. It can bind an artist to his homeland and native society, or it can help to detach, or to heal the breaches in the in-between space. In comparison, when a detachment from any identification with a native origin occurs, the subjects of ironic art become cosmopolitan and a-historical.

Keywords: Irony, Identities, Visual art, Israel, Mockumentary

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3. Kwok, Yin Ning, PhD – The University of Hong Kong

A Five-Dimensional Approach to Conceptualizing the Interplay of Image, Emotions, and Senses
Studies in Visual Arts and Communication – an international journal / December 2016 3(2)

The chief objective of the proposed paper is to show in what ways the interplay of image, emotions, and senses can be conceptualized and analysed by adopting a five-dimensional approach.  By doing so, different kinds of emotional and sensorial engagement with images, especially painting and their origins can be traced in the process of art reception during which an embodied multisensory perception of images and the interaction of emotion and cognition are carried out as well as the interplay of the senses in the process of constitution of meanings and feelings.  The five dimensions from which sensorial and emotional engagements take place are the expressed, which is what a painting’s general message is understood by the viewer; the dimension of the method, which includes the methods, techniques, or approaches adopted by a painter to represent the expressed; the dimension of the picture, which is the painting itself as an object showing the presented features on the canvas or on a surface as a denotation system presenting the pictorial cues of the painting; the dimension of the unfolding process, which is carried out by the spectator when unfolding the development of a painting’s pictorial features; and the dimension of the dwelling process, which encompasses the effects or emotions experienced by the spectator as induced in the process of contemplating a painting.  The major scholars selected in this paper are Ernst Gombrich’s Art and Illusion; Nelson Goodman’s Of Mind and Other Matter; Alberti’s On Painting; Svetlana Alpers’s The Art of Describing; Norman Bryson’s Vision and Painting; Gilles Deleuze’s Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation; and Michael Fried’s Absorption and Theatricality.  These scholarly works bring light to the cognitive, sensorial and emotional engagements taking place on the five dimensions.

Keywords: painting, art reception, sensorial experience, sensational engagement, emotional reactions, and feelings

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4. Jonathan Balzotti, PhD – Brigham Young University

Rhetoric, Spectacle, and Mechanized Amusement at the World’s Columbian Exposition
Studies in Visual Arts and Communication – an international journal / December 2016 3(2)

This essay focuses on the disruptive qualities of public entertainment and public spectacle at the 1893 Columbian exposition. I use my analysis of different fairgoers’ responses to explore the ways public spectacle, even in its most commercialized form, can lead to a rhetorical response from the audience where alternative views of culture are made available. Rather than seeing spectacle as empty theatricality, I argue that in certain cases spectacle may speak more loudly than plot, character, and script. Just as the backdrop for a theatrical dialogue can change the story, also can the spectacle alter the story being told, and, in the process, invite the audience to redefine and altogether change the rhetorical text.

Keywords: Spectacle, Rhetoric, World Exposition, Ferris Wheel, Opsis

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5. Yolanda Ríos – Universidad de Vigo, pre-doctoral studies

Nuevas formas de articular el espacio. Transformaciones en la concepción del espacio debido a las nuevas tecnologías
Studies in Visual Arts and Communication – an international journal / December 2016 3(2)

En este artículo se pretende hacer una aproximación al concepto espacial desarrollado por Constant en su proyecto New Babylon realizado entre los años cincuenta y setenta. El artista diseñó una nueva ciudad para el homo ludens (Johan Huizinga), donde estos nuevos individuos disfrutarían realizando actividades lúdicas y creativas, lejos del trabajo alienante y repetitivo que, según Constant, realizarían las máquinas. Además, las ciudades donde vivirían serían flexibles, cambiantes y la conformación del espacio público y privado sería diferente al establecido en esa época. Todo ello se revisará ofreciendo un acercamiento al momento actual donde se da un nuevo entendimiento del espacio. Las teorías expuestas por Manuel Castells y Zygmunt Bauman nos sitúan en un espacio líquido y fluido, donde la sociedad ha experimentado una serie de cambios apoyados en gran parte, por el uso de las nuevas tecnologías, por lo que, la sociedad está inmersa en una nueva era, la “era de la información”. Según Bauman se ha pasado de una sociedad sólida a una líquida, el cambio y la transformación constante se han hecho cotidianas en nuestra sociedad. También, el proceso de globalización está siendo un campo de batalla donde diversos artistas exponen las diversas problemáticas que esto conlleva, como son los exilios, la migración o el control sobre las fronteras.

Palabras clave: Espacio, escultura, arquitectura, nuevas tecnologías, sociedad, virtual, globalización.

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6. Elisabeth Pouilly – doctorante en Etudes Théâtrales à Université Paris III – Sorbonne Nouvelle

Les « Midnight movies » : un cinéma d’engagement(s).
Studies in Visual Arts and Communication – an international journal / December 2016 3(2)

« Midnight movies » : a cinema of commitment(s).
« Midnight movies », while staying outside the global film production, managed to create a real sphere of influence in the cinema of the 70s. Their name already explains their origin: the movie is qualified as « Midnight movie » because the picture show was scheduled at midnight. The first theater to throw this concept was Elgin Theater of New York, and the first « midnight movie » went out there in 1970: El Topo, directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky.
We shall review the common characteristics between these, particularly the production and the process of making these films, which distinguish them from the film production of the time.
These movies ask for the commitment of the spectator. First of all, to go to watch them: theaters were restricted, the advertising was made by the word-of-mouth, the picture show is similar to a rite for initiated. But some of these movies also ask for the physical commitment of the spectator, as in The Rocky Horror Picture Show of Jim Sharman.
They finally highlight people not or under-represented in mass media: transsexuals, transvestites, handicapped persons… By their provocative power, these movies lead to think a new fringe element of society: the marginality, to integrate it in a counterculture.

Keywords: Midnight movies, cinema, commitment, rite, provocation, counterculture.

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