The relationship to materiality and the meaning of bodily experience

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Observing the body and material

Working with paint and charcoal, exploring materiality and the body.  There is an interest in developing an understanding  of phenomenological evaluation of the process of work within Fine Art. Exploring the material relationship between objects and experience.

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In ‘Eye and Mind’ Merleau-Ponty describes how we view and recognize all that surrounds us within a complex network of bodily competences and visual relations.[1] Describing how culture is grounded in the human body he says ‘we must think of the world and consciousness as mutually dependent parts of the whole’.  According to Merleau-Ponty we are active, embodied perceivers in the world and our direct experience involves a lack of separation between ‘me and my and world’.[2]  Merleau-Ponty describes how our visual perception of physical things (shapes, texture, position etc.) are in sync with the qualities of the person who apprehends them. In ‘Eye and Mind’ Merleau-Ponty expands on the Artist Klee’s observations of the uncertainty around whether he is looking at the forest or being looked at by the forest. Merleau-Ponty defines this as reversibility, a reversibility of the seeing and the visible.

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[1]Crowther, P., Phenomenology of the Visual Arts (even the frame), California, Stanford University Press, 2009,76.

[2] Romdenh-Romluc,K.,’Maurice Merleau-Ponty’ in S.Luft and S. Overgaard,(eds.)The Routledge companion to phenomenology, London, Routledge, 2012,104.

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