Prof Doc Thesis

Giannaroudis, Konstantinos 2012. PRESENCE AND RePRESENTATION. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Arts and Digital Industries
AuthorsGiannaroudis, Konstantinos
TypeProf Doc Thesis

The act of representation is, to an extent, a sine qua non condition within the artistic process and
always acquires its meaning in relation to a presence. Presence acts as an internal or external
stimulus, and re-presentation is the effect of a presence. From this perspective, I have examined the
work of Francis Bacon, Susan Hiller, Giorgio Morandi, Gerhard Richter, Iannis Xenakis, and,
among others, the theories of Giorgio Agamben, Benjamin Buchloch, Daniel Chandler, Gilles
Deleuze, Jacques Derrida, Hal Foster and Henri Lefebvre.
Within the frame of this enquiry, I have created a series of polyptychs exploring different
possibilities, correlations and aspects of my topic. The internal or external stimulus for the creation
of these series varies: from recorded video stills of London’s urban scenery to a one-wave loop
videotaped at a Greek coast, and from a specific architectural site to various landscapes – all painted
in situ or from photographs. Although this variety calls for dissimilar creative strategies for each
polyptych, all of them are connected with each other, as they share the following properties:
• the openness, which practically relativizes the beginning and the end of the artwork, the part
and the whole, the real space–time and the imagery space–time,
• the rhythm (practically, its simplified form is repetition), as the element that makes the
synthesis and unification of different states of presence possible – through the function of
• the pictorial language (i.e., colour, line, shape, etc.), as the intermediate between the individual
and the collective evaluation of the artwork.
In the context of my semisite-specific practice, I reactivate the notion of topicality to approximate
the foundation of a stable and real ground where the artwork forms and develops. By exploring the
act of representation, I discuss the poetic metaphor from and to the real, the constitution of the real
and its consequences on how we value art.
I argue that, both practically and theoretically, rhythm is identified through the principle of
presence, and I examine rhythm as the methodological tool whose vibration penetrates practical
experimentation and whose contents are susceptible to theoretical exploration. Odysseas Elytis’
poem eloquently describes the experience that artists relish during the creative process – the poetic
point of view. By the same token, art practice repulses a well established methodology, thus
maintaining an entropy, or an openness. I put forward the hypothesis that rhythm can offer a
sustainable methodological tool for art practice-based areas of study.
In my research, I explore the structure and limits of visual/pictorial language, that are
simultaneously historical and physical. Practically, this exploration is correlated with a quest for the
proper (proportion, colour, gesture, etc.) within my compositions – i.e., a search on artistic
manipulation and its criteria of evalutation.
Finally, I investigate the theoretical context of Presence and Representation, its relation to the real
and how different comprehensions correspond with and influence different viewpoints and theses,
which, in turn, have personal and social consequences. As Daniel Chandler (1994) indicates, it is
unavoidable to ask ‘whose realities are privileged in particular representations’, a recognition which
eschews a retreat to mere subjectivism, as it ‘pays due tribute to the unequal distribution of power
in the social world.’

Keywordsrepresentation; presence
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Publication dates
PrintApr 2012
Publication process dates
Deposited04 Apr 2013
Publisher's version
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