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Drawing upon multiplicity: mark, body and a trace of thought

Luzar, R (2013) Drawing upon multiplicity: mark, body and a trace of thought. PhD thesis, University of the Arts London.

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Abstract

This thesis is an investigation into performance-­‐based drawing and its relation to ‘multiplicity’, as explored through a philosophical tradition of thought. By leading my research through this practice, where I use bodily gesture to engage a mark-­‐system exploring ‘the point’, I ask how thought in drawing could be imperative to its event (of thinking and making). I examine the proposition that by making physical performance the question of thinking in its event can be critically investigated under a trace that indicates thought as multiplicity. I argue that ‘the point’ is a unique, conceptual mark that emphasizes bodily appearance; and that this mark engages physicality through properties of mediation, dislocation and obstruction. These properties are demonstrated throughout my practice as ‘post-­‐phenomenological’, that is the irreducibility of bodily presence and indexical imprints to ‘thought’. In my practice I construct performances using marks associable with notation, such as periods [ . ], brackets [ ( ) ], or ellipses [ … ]. These notational marks structure the space in which a dislocated form of bodily gesture occurs – as in standing, turning, or pointing – which is mediated by weight and restriction. While my thesis closely examines my practice I look at artists – such as Paul Harrison and John Wood, and Trisha Brown – who explore indexical mark-­‐making, task-­‐based actions and digital video. I therefore examine how I use gesture to investigate a non-­‐representational trace, which challenges drawing through conventions of line-­‐making and embodied movement, or inscription. Throughout my thesis I examine post-­‐structural debates around ‘multiplicity’, a philosophical notion of thought posited as a radical question. I evaluate ‘multiplicity’ 3 through Alain Badiou’s critique of Gilles Deleuze’s vitalist proposition (that thought is engaged materially through movement) and thus consider that thought/multiplicity is void-­‐like and obstructive. I articulate Jean-­‐Luc Nancy’s notion of ‘exscription’, that gesture is dislocated from inscriptional marking; this dislocated gesture being unable to engage with thought under phenomenologies of presence. Finally, I consider Maurice Blanchot’s argument that the trace as such – as distinct from the imprint of a line – is impossible to both represent and materially depict as ‘presence’. My research aims to reconsider conventions of performance-­‐drawing, placing greater emphasis on bodily gesture and a conceptual trace that interrupts embodiments by either imprint or physical presence. Overall, I propose a new approach to mark-­‐ making under a post-­‐phenomenological method, which uses a dislocated gesture to investigate an obstructive event of thought or multiplicity.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Performance; gesture; performance-based drawing; phenomenology; Blanchot, Maurice; Badiou, Alain; Deleuze, Gilles, Nancy, Jean-Luc
Divisions: Bath School of Art and Design
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2015 09:53
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2015 09:56
URI: http://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/6828
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