patríciapinheirodesousa

Master thesis: Elsewhere, There and Back Again - Notes on Travel Performances, Reception, and Imagination

Dutch Art Institute/ArtEZ
Mentor: Alena Alexandrova
Independent reviewer: Ansuya Blom

Arnhem, June 2011

Abstract

This thesis investigates the processes through which places are imagined and performed.
Which propositions ground our relations to the capitalized worldviews supported by travel practices, at a time when the overflow of imagery keeps on producing superficial landscapes? How do these ‘worldviews’ affect different subjectivities and how can it be subject to change without embarking on a search for additional meaning? How can a disruption to this movement be appropriated and enrich artistic practices? Possible answers to these questions emerge, in the first chapter, from an approach to the visual realm of the late nineteenth century and the position of the observer towards the spectacular image. This analysis sees itself extended in the second chapter, into the scope of the tourist and the performances of staged realities and the lure of artificiality. Tourism appears in the context of this research as a metaphor for how 'image‐world' is perceived and performed through the consumption of its representations. What happens when these dream‐images are destabilized? I propose that the awareness of these sort of 'disrupted' images can eventually contribute to an interruption in the flow of meaning construction, thus offering the possibilities of relating not just to what we 'see', but to how we can consciously and personally affect what we see.

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