Task 2 – Initial Development: Conceptual Crux

The following are examples of the diverse disciplines and oeuvre of creatives of their respect practice in which I wish to draw upon for Task 2.

Mike Parr:

On his work, Parr stated:

“I had to just remain composed and control all my reactions. I had to maximise the tension and create a kind of invisible wall between me and the audience. It was that process of experiencing that detachment and self-control that became the basis of me doing performances.”

What struck me was this idea of separation – an invisible wall, or rather a “Fourth Wall”.

When delving into this concept of Fourth Wall, I came across an article written on an exhibition held at the Blanton Museum of Art titled ‘Blurring the Boundaries: Installation Art, 1969-1996’ by which it explained:

Part theatre, part architecture, a mix of the ephemeral and the participatory, a blend of confrontation and inclusion, installation art erases the line between art and the space in which it is exhibited and the viewer who beholds it. It blurs the art experience.

Asked viewers to ‘Think of it as sculpture unleashed from the pedestal and paintings freed from their frames (along with other media used outside its ordinary context) breaking down what in theatrical parlance is called the fourth wall, the boundary that separates audience from stage.’

This emblematic structure of the Fourth wall can be seen as a form of Lacuna, alive and active in the work of the subject (Parr) and the spectator, and is one that I wish to emancipate within our Task 2 through some form of perforative piece.

How wonderfully evanescent. And therein lies the compelling beauty of installation art – it’s never the exactly same twice. – A Lacuna in itself?

Bill Viola – ‘Tristian’s Ascention’

Viola moves the viewer from the outer to the inner and from public to private. He strips his subjects and audiences of social defences and scrutinises notions of consent and intimacy.

It is this act of coalescing public and private, consent and separation that infiltrates the fourth wall (be it figurative or physical) which makes paramount the innate voyeurism transparent within performative spectacles. The viewers become subliminal voyeurs, in turn subverting any ideas of sanction or viewing jurisdiction.

I wish to draw upon performance art, probing ideas of consent, contemporary voyeurism and sociotechnological anthropology; in turn exposing a construct of Fourth Wall.

References:

Olcott, S.M. 1998, “Blurring the Boundaries: Installation Art 1969-1996”, Library Journal, vol. 123, no. 4, pp. 86.

Galvin, N. 26/08/2016, ‘Mike Parr: ‘The extreme performance artist at pains to make his point’, The Sydney Morning Herald, viewed 13/04/2017 <http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/art-and-design/mike-parr-foreign-looking-at-the-national-gallery-of-australia-20160822-gqyapr.html&gt;

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