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Appropriation art : moving images and presenting difference

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Appropriation art : moving images and presenting difference

Shurkus, Marie Bridget (2005) Appropriation art : moving images and presenting difference. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The dual nature of artworks has had a wrenching impact on art-historical scholarship. At one extreme, historians interpret visual artworks in terms of their historical eras, cultural conditions, and artists' biographies. At the other, historians receive artworks as aesthetic objects and interpret their formal structures. In the former construct artworks are understood as semiotic systems that operate like text. The latter focuses on the perceptual experience of viewing. This thesis addresses how postmodern appropriation art engages the dual nature of artworks to redefine visual representation as a translational and transformative event. Postmodern appropriation art takes two different forms: art after media and art after art. Although this thesis focuses on the latter, the introduction reviews the development of both and establishes how material expression functions differently in each. Chapter one considers the emergence of rephotography in 1979 to demonstrate how even this---the most exact version of art after art---embodies difference at the material level. Applying Gilles Deleuze's insight that repetition expresses difference, this thesis then redefines appropriation art as the movement of images into new contextual and material expressions. The body of the thesis takes up each of these elements---context, image, and material---and specifically explores how they produce creative outcomes. Throughout, this thesis examines how the practice of postmodern art after art demonstrates that visual artworks provide territories in which performative events occur. However, unlike what was suggested during Abstract Expressionism, this is not a performance between an authorial artist and the artwork; it is a performance between the artwork's material condition, which generates affective qualities, and its contextual frame, which sets up referential relationships that are tied to social and cultural forces. Through an analysis of individual artworks, this thesis demonstrates that these outcomes---the qualitative changes and new referential relationships---are neither predictable nor obvious in the source artworks, they must be actualized to become apparent. Thus, authorship is realigned with the art object, the artist is redefined as a viewer, and visual representation becomes a material event.

Divisions:Concordia University > School of Graduate Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Shurkus, Marie Bridget
Pagination:xiv, 370 leaves : ill. (some col.) ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:School of Graduate Studies
Date:2005
Thesis Supervisor(s):Huneault, Kristina
ID Code:8772
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:35
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 15:11
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