Staging the Moment: Play and Fictional Reality

Prof Doc Thesis

Shimanovskaya, Veronica 2016. Staging the Moment: Play and Fictional Reality. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London Arts and Digital Industries
AuthorsShimanovskaya, Veronica
TypeProf Doc Thesis

While reflecting on the main topic of my interest, I realized that it is the moment of pure experience of the visible world before its transition into individual and subjectively perceived reality. Playing as a means of staying in that moment is a main strategy of my practice. As we can perceive very little of the true workings of the world by a momentary experience, the only impression we can gauge from it will add to the fictional nature of our understanding of it. “’Reality’ is the word that belongs in quotation marks” (Nabokov, 1995).
My goal was to trace this process from the very first moment of actual sensory experience, and the resonance it creates in the mind and body, to the second when it becomes a driving force of art production and manifests itself in the art form. It is a very slim sliver of time and space in which this transformation actually happens. The work I create aims to capture my own experience and create experiences for my audience. The means by which I create and convey this experience is play. The complexity of analyzing this triad – moment-play-fiction – through practice brought me to the necessity of analyzing my methods of production as well as the necessity of contextualizing my practice in a broader philosophical and critical discourse. Inspired by Mikhail Bahktin, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Martin Heidegger, I focus on art as act, in my case the act of playing, and play as a means of engaging with the momentary existence. Establishing the rules, and contextualizing my practice led me to experimentations with a variety of media, and studying the work of other artists.
Yayoi Kusama, Elmgreen and Dragset, Marina Abramovic, Elizabeth Price, Bill Viola, Douglas Gordon, and Akira Kurosawa are but a few whose work and life inspired me in the last three years. Analyzing my own methods and staging the viewers’ experience, I find it is important to keep observing my own, as well as my viewers’ behavior. Exploratory travels and international art residencies provided just those necessary research opportunities.
Just as, according to Umberto Eco, one should see the difference between story and discourse (Eco, 2004, p. 36), my aim is to understand the difference between the moment of experience (story) and the moment of perception (discourse). The desire to further explore these topics in the future led me to enumerate and summarize all the thousands of the last three years’ moments that yielded the story entitled Staging the Moment: Play and Fictional Reality.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Publication dates
PrintApr 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited22 Nov 2016
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