Drawing the Dao: reflections on the application of Daoist theory of action in contemporary drawing practice

Flavel, S and Luzar, R (2019) 'Drawing the Dao: reflections on the application of Daoist theory of action in contemporary drawing practice.' Drawing: Research, Theory, Practice, 4 (1). pp. 11-27. ISSN 2057-0384

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1386/drtp.4.1.11_1

Abstract

In this article, we engage resources in Daoist philosophy as a means for critically investigating theories of drawing in contemporary arts practice. The aims of this article are twofold. First, we highlight the problematic metaphysical assumptions that inform contemporary drawing practice and its theorization around ‘performance’. In particular, we criticize the tendency to conceive such performance in terms of transcendent or mystical expression, and relatedly, through notions of unthinking or pre-conceptual bodily practice. We suggest that such practices, and their corresponding theories, problematically bifurcate between ‘thinking’ and ‘unthinking’ action, thereby reinforcing a substance-based metaphysics. Second, in response to this problem, we begin to outline how Daoist philosophies of action might provide a more robust theorization for undertaking such practices. We consider the philosophical implications of what Hans-Georg Moeller has termed ‘the Dao Scenario’, as a model for critical practice that can avoid such problematic mysticism.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Chinese philosophy of action; Daoism and art; Daoist aesthetics; Taoism and art; Taoist aesthetics; drawing performance art; drawing practice; theory of action
Divisions: Bath School of Art and Design
College of Liberal Arts
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2019 17:44
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2019 16:19
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