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Suspension of presence : an exploration of the interconnectedness of the body, space and time

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Rickard, Lucienne Emma (2006) Suspension of presence : an exploration of the interconnectedness of the body, space and time. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

This research is an investigation into the interconnectedness of the body, space and time.
My interest lies in the balance between these elements, in their inherent influence over one
another, and in the poss1b1lity that I can manipulate this balance Specifically, my project
explores the idea that physical movement - the negotiation of the body though space - can
be employed as a way to effect the experience of time.
These ideas have been pursued in the making of a series of large scale structures - spaces 1
- that I have used to physically enact and experience this relationship. I have used the term
"space" throughout this paper in describing the objects I have made This word 1s intended to
signify two things: The air-filled space, located inside the structures I have made, that my
body occupies in the making process. And, the space of the materials that form these
structures (e g. plaster-filled space) that I force my body to engage with by wearing my
movements into. I see these as synonymous, and use the word "space" to refer to them
simultaneously.
I have placed my body in an intense engagement with these structures, performing repetitive
movements inside of, and into the materials that form them. I intend my own interaction, in
the visual traces 1t leaves in the structures, to generate a consideration of this relationship in
the viewer.
The focus for this proiect stems from personal, everyday experiences of negotiating my own
body through space. In moving through air, water and spaces defined by architecture, I found
an inconsistency in the experience of time these places offer Surrounding, isolating spaces that affected the movements of my body - such as water - made it seem that time was
passing more slowly than it did in moving through open air. This inconsistency led to a
questioning of my own perception of time as being formed of fm1te, fleeting moments - a
perception that separates and fractures the present self from past moments and
experiences Desiring to overcome this fracturing, I was driven to find an experience of time
devoid of the structure imposed by the sequential passing of moments. This experience
came to be formed of both the manufacture of space, and the development of a specific
physical working method.
I have looked to the following sources to form a foundation for the research. My perception of
time was expanded by Frances Yates' The Art of Memory, Henn Bergson's Theory of Pure
Durat10n, Kurt Vonnegut's novel Slaughterhouse Five and Samuel Beckett's allegedly
autobiographical Company. These sources express the possibility of perceiving time as
whole, and of being able to negotiate it wilfully, akm to physically negotiating space.
Company, as well as early work by Robert Morris and structures by Bruce Nauman, also
provided examples of varying expressions of manufactured space, and its engagement of the
body Beckett, as well as the early video work of Nauman, my own experiences of swimming,
several collaborative works by Marina Abramovic and Ulay, and the movie Gerry directed by
Gus Van Sant, formed an understanding of the physical tactics (exhaustion, repetition,
restriction, rhythm) I used, in conjunction with manufactured space, to affect time. The written
exegesis records my exploration of these sources, and their relevance to my own ideas.
The outcome of the research is documented by the objects included in the exhibition They
reveal the gradual progression towards a surrounding and restrictive space, evidence the
physical process that took place inside them, and expose these two elements as generative
of a suspension of time.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Spatial behavior, Art, Mind and body, Time
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2006 the author

Additional Information:

Available for library use only and copying in accordance with the Copyright Act 1968, as amended. Thesis (PhD)--University of Tasmania, 2006. Includes bibliographical references

Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2015 03:16
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2016 05:54
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