Research paper symposium number 2: Art is all mental

We enjoyed our second research paper symposium yesterday. This time is was led by Gareth Polmeer. I didn’t know him before the session but found his work here but to summarise he is a Visiting Lecturer in Critical and Historical Studies at the RCA and an Associate Lecturer, Illustration and Visual Theory here at Camberwell.

It was good to hear other students’ plans and explore them a little. Indeed some themes appeared to stand out like:

  • materiality and the virtual digital
  • time
  • memory
  • aesthetic approaches and visual expectations in evoking emotions like fear

Our initial ideas were then brainstormed by the group so issues like the conceptual and theoretical contexts were discussed along with key artists, thinkers and writers in particular topics. Accordingly the session was a great way of kick starting some specific research.

Indeed one of the strengths of the process is that the session has a transcript and so references can be gone back to and interrogated. For example, Jonathan referenced this book that I might have missed in a discussion but I have been able to go back this morning and pick up the reference. 

My proposal
In terms of my own proposals I was pleased that lots of the questions and suggestions that came up were areas that I have, am or will, cover in the MA. However given the short length of the research paper much of my research will end up being on my blog rather than in that. Indeed we all agreed that my brief might be too wide but that any research can be used in other ways and work edited down for the Paper. For example, exploring the ways race, gender and sexuality are represented and how I am trying to make the  “unrepresented” represented are things I have or need to explore but that might only achieve passing references in the paper.

But there was one thing that I had missed up until now that jumped up and bit me. [13:39:36] Gareth Polmeer: “Is this a topic that you could relate to the way that other artists have tried to redefine and question orthodoxies?”

As soon as I read this I thought about Christ in his Parents House by Millais and how the artist challenged convention by representing Christ in such a realistic style. In so doing he got people to think about how and why we represent certain things in specific ways and whether this is a good thing or not. Such an issue is key to my work and research and yet I had missed it as a specific focus!  Well it’s on the to do list now….


About Pete

South Londoner struggling with life, art and photography.
This entry was posted in Proposals, Tutorials, Symposiums, and Term Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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