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2010, Vol., No.27

  • 1.

    Psychoanalytic Redefinition of ‘Surrealism Object’ - Primarily Focus on Alberto Giacometti’s Early Works in 1930’s -

    안소연 | 2010, (27) | pp.7~38 | number of Cited : 2
    Abstract
    The purpose of this study is to redefine ‘Surrealism object’ based on psychoanalysis, primarily focusing on Alberto Giacometti’s(1901-1966) works in 1930’s. The reasons that Giacometti’s early works were in the spotlight were that several art theorists such as Hal Foster, Rosalind Krauss, Mignon Nixon and etc redefined surrealism art from modern point of view based on Giacometti’s ‘Surrealism object.’ Hence, while redefining the artistic recognition of ‘Surrealism object’ in which Giacometti played a main role, this study attempted to understand how it related to modern art. This thesis aimed to primarily redefine the fundamental concepts which surrealism implicated based on the framework of psychoanalysis by analyzing comparatively the surrealism of Georges Bataille which represented ‘desublimation’ in the contrast with surrealism movement around Andre Breton. Furthermore, surrealistic theological categories which Foster and Krauss redefined based on Sigmund Freud’s and Jacques Lacan’s psychoanalysis were to be examined in this thesis. Based on the modern redefinition of such surrealism, the concrete analysis on ‘surrealism object’ around Giacometti was conducted and it is meaningful that ‘surrealism object’ was deeply connected with modern art based on the framework of psychoanalysis. Giacometti was infatuated with surrealistic works based on ‘subconsciousness’ and ‘fantasy’ which did not sculpture real objects - the fantasy of castration and the fantasy of intrauterine existence in Freud’s the primal fantasy-, participating in a surrealistic group for a short period of time: from 1930 to 1935. It was concreted as the identity of sex that he showed, and the desire, suppression, loss, recover, and the instinct of life and death which existed inside from The Spoon Woman produced in 1926 to the end of surrealistic work of The Invisible Object in 1934. The surrealistic subject seen on Giacometti’s sculpture was based on his trauma fantasy equivalent to Freud’s ‘basic fantasy. As several articles written by him in surrealistic publications such as <Minotaure> during his time as a surrealist could prove the facts, the fantasy of his childhood related to mother’s body represented double consciousness; destructive aggressiveness on women’s bodies and women’s body as the subject of the desire. Such fantasy of his childhood seems to be deeply related to Oedipus complex on the Freud’s point of view. As his double attitudes towards women were reflected in his works, Giacometti’s Oedipus complex was not a common three-cornered relation: father, mother and himself, Giacometti, but it seemed to be twisted two relations: himself and double mothers. As such relations with objects can be redefined by Melanie Klein’s part-object concept, Mignon Nixon understood the image of ‘part-object’ observed in Giacometti’s ‘surrealism object’ in comparison with Louise Bourgeois. As ‘part-object’ has been explained by Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, and Krauss, it is notifiable that everyone suggested Giacometti’s <Suspended Ball> as an example. It is meaningful that this study attempted to explore psychoanalysis, focusing on ‘surrealism object’ represented in Giacometti’s early works. Since surrealists led by Breton are based on Freud’s theory, they hoped that their surrealism were considered as simple love and liberation movements, remaining in the categories of automatism which emphasized liberal aspects of subconsciousness. However, new interpreters of surrealism who belonged to Breton’s group around Paris after 1920’s expressed the uncanny about trauma experiences rather than romantic love and pointed out the death impulse close to suppression rather than subconscious liberation. In addition, it showed how ‘surrealism object’ are connected with modern art through Klein’s theory which revealed issues Freud’sand Lacan’s psychoanalysis had failed to notice. Therefore, as it is the redefinition of surrealism excluded in modern art history, it provides sufficient evidences to achieve an honor in art history that surrealistic art can be an important reference point in postmodernism. Hal Foster redefined surrealism based on the concept of Freud’s “Uncanny”, and Rosalind Krauss redefined by the concept of Bataille’s “l’informe(formless)” and Lacan’s theory. As Mignon Nixon conducted a comparative analysis between surrealism and modern art by Klein’s model, such discussions suggest the possibility that surrealism object can be interpreted by various psychoanalysis theories and it is suggestive it can be continuously linked with modern art as a reference point.
  • 2.

    The Body Politics of American Neo-avant-garde Art

    Cho Soojin | 2010, (27) | pp.39~76 | number of Cited : 3
    Abstract
    This study focuses on embedding a meaning to the ‘body’ which is one of the major paradigms in art practice, theory and criticism of the 1960’s America. In the Western society, the U.S in particular, this period is also known as the transition era from modernity to post-modernity when extreme socio-cultural changes took place. In the art field, new arts such as Neo-Dada, Happening, Fluxus, Performance, Minimalism and Pop art were born. However, despite their various aspects, they commonly seemed to oppose the oppressive formalist modernism of Abstract Expressionism, and started to be interpreted in relation to the concept of ‘avant-garde’. The avant-garde here is in contrast with Clement Greenberg’s ‘Modernism avant-garde’, contributing to the concept of Europe’s ‘antimodernistic avant-garde’ by promoting the combination of life and art. This is in retaliation to modernism’s aestheticism that tries to establish an art system and separate art from the outside world. Peter Burger’s ‘neo-avant-garde’ theory classified the art practice that originated in America since Abstract Expressionism as an anti-modernistic avant-garde. Burger named the experimental art that originated in the West in the post-World War II era as ‘neo-avantgarde’and identified it as a repetition of ‘historical avant-garde’, including Dada, Surrealism and Russian Constructivism. This theory describes neo-avant-garde art as a mere superficial imitation of collage, photomontage and ready-made, born to resist formalist modernism by the historical avant-garde, and did not carry on the true will to criticize the system. However, American art theorists, such as Benjamin Buchloh and Hal Foster, not only accepted the neo-avant-garde concept as a paradigm to analyze American experimental art,but also embedded a positive meaning to avant-garde’s ‘repetition’, and claimed that neoavant-garde must go through the process of repeating the looks of historical avant-garde in order to put avant-garde into real practice. In alignment to the researcher’s argument mentioned above, this study will try to claim neo-avant-garde as a new type of avant-garde resisting against the changes of art 75institution, which appeared in the transition stage from modernism to post-modernism. A critique to modernism born from modernity which is created by capitalism and the creative destructor of that continuity, neo-avant-garde has the mission of criticizing the institution of art. The historical avant-garde of the past was merely a ‘critique of the conventions of the traditional mediums’ through painting and sculpture, but since the 1950’s when late capitalism took place, neo-avant-gardes came across the issue of art, commodity and spectacle being related, and started to study art institution. This article thus focuses on presenting ‘body’ as a core resisting strategy of neo-avantgarde towards art institution. In the history of modern art, the body of the artist and the viewer went through exposure and concealment, depending on the era and trend. Nevertheless, the role and importance of body in the art of historical avant-garde, named by Burger, cannot be emphasized enough. In various historical avant-garde ‘soirees’ and ‘festivals’ of the early 20thcentury, held in Zurich, Paris and Berlin, the body was the subject and object of expression. Their practice tried to overcome the closed system of modernism art medium and integrate art into the part of people’s daily lives. However,one must notice that much of neo-avant-garde art also originates from the actions of the human body. As a global post-war effect, such development took place in a wide variety of areas; from Abstract Expressionism, which is a formalist modernism, to Neo-Dada,Happening, Fluxus, and Judson Dance Theater, which advocates the New Dance. Based on these facts, the corporeality of historical avant-garde and neo-avant-garde art can be inferred. Thus, this article identifies the ‘body’ as something that appeared in historical avant-garde art but was suppressed by formalist modernism, yet again,was rediscovered and reinterpreted in neo-avant-garde project. In other words, like photomontage and ready-made, neo-avant-garde did not ‘first discover’ the body, but was ‘rediscovered’ as a part of historical avant-garde’s anti-modernism strategy. Moreover, when neo-avant-garde appeared, other avant-garde strategies were already a commodity of a gallery and even absorbed into the popular culture, so the violative value of the aesthetic autonomy of the body, or the meaning it holds as a art institute critique, is all the more valuable. The aspects of the body as a critique project, clearly showing the distinctive strategic neoavant-garde, was expressed in various ways in art. In other words, going beyond the limited genre called Performance, the aspects of body has been expressed in phenomenological awareness of the viewer towards the piece in Minimalism, the excessive state of illusionism in Op art that causes the existence of visual and sense of touch, as well as the creation 76of subculture style of the body consumed in Pop art. And in such art, the body goes beyond mere actions, and expands into a place itself allowing the subject to experience the world. Also, the neo-avant-garde subject that possess the body, which communicates with the outside world, developed from ‘performative body’ to ‘activist body’. As a result,the resistance went beyond the boundary of art and became a direct critique towards the social issue. In other words, neo-avant-garde’s art institution critique expanded to the social institution. This proves that the characteristic of American art in the 1960’s, which intervenes in politics, was based on the body. Thus, the body, which is both a natural flesh and a cultural artificial product, allowed the negative expression towards capitalism through the body and at the same time, made the human destiny in consumerism inevitable. Hence, the subject of neo-avant-garde can be said an embodied selfhood, which is a body/self as a symbolic location that has the properties of late capitalistic society however resisting it. Artists back then obtained this new body/self structure and responded towards the rapidly changing environment. In conclusion, the transition of modernism to post-modernism, which can be found in American art of the 1960’s, was contributed by rediscovering the ‘body’ which is an ‘internal exterior’ that always existed in modernism. In the era of unstable modernism culture, it was neo-avant-garde which played an important role of transferring the mission, long carried out by the spirit in the history of modernity, to the body.
  • 3.

    A consideration of the concept of interaction in art as a critical challenge to the modernist ocularity

    Kim, Hee-Young | 2010, (27) | pp.77~99 | number of Cited : 4
    Abstract
    This paper goes over an art historical and theoretical path to articulate the active meaning of the work as a site of interaction, while conducting a critical discussion on the Modernist aesthetic, which considers the visual sense superior to other senses. Marshall McLuhan’s discussion on the changes, that electric media brought, is relevant in challenging the confinement of the Modernist aesthetics, which limits the experience of the work to the realm of opticality. McLuhan’s concept of synesthesia, a kind of tactility, sheds light on the concept of interactivity. The case studies of new media art, which focuses on the participant‘s interactivity, show that the consideration of a role of art as a creative means of communicating with others persists. This paper also intends to develop an archaeological approach to ‘action/interaction’ as a contribution to a wider cultural mapping of interactivity in art. Harold Rosenberg’s notion of the canvas indicates a challenge to the modernist notion of it by focusing on the open possibility of the canvas, which became ‘an arena in which to act.’ Nicolas Bourriaud’s notion of the relational form also provides an interactive perspective, which stirs up new ‘possibilities of life’ and allows disparate elements to meet. The wok of art is not provided as a static aesthetic object to be viewed, but is a place where the interaction between the artist and the material, moreover the interaction between the work and the viewer can take place. Paying attention to the interactive aspects in art, this paper argues that the work of art has a social and cultural role in forming a community.
  • 4.

    Strategy of Eroticism and Appropriation of Androgyny in Marcel Duchamp’s <Étant donnés>

    현수정 | 2010, (27) | pp.101~134 | number of Cited : 3
    Abstract
    Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) is one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. The study of Duchamp’s work has emerged as an important and controversial topic in art history. There have been two major streams of research on Duchamp’s works: One is an inventor of the Dada “ready- made”, and the other is his influence on feminism through the alter-ego of “Rose Sélavy”. The topic of Duchamp as Rose Sélavy is based on understanding the sexuality of Duchamp’s work. This research is focusing on the second stream, but it does not strictly follow the theory of feminism. This study is an exploration of Duchamp’s work by emphasizing yet another methodical possibility: strategy of eroticism and appropriation of Androgyny in his last work, <Étant donnés>. What is the meaning of ‘Androgyny’? It literally means a combining of two sexes or interplay of the opposites of ‘masculinity’ and ‘feminist’ in one figure. The term may also be used to represent the physical bisexuality of the hermaphrodite, that is a very limited and misunderstood usage of it. The meaning of ‘Androgyny’ is not only from the physical concept but also from spiritual concept which is based on the ideal of religion and metaphysic. How could Duchamp get the idea of Androgyny in his work as an artist of 20th century? Though Duchamp didn’t reveal how he got the idea, he acknowledged the influence of Alchemy. Duchamp developed his own way to appropriate images of Androgyny in his works. <Étant donnés>(Given: 1. The Waterfall, 2. The Illuminating Gas) is Duchamp’s final masterwork which had been secretly constructed from 1946 to 1966. This work is threedimensional assemblage, which offers an extraordinary shocking visual experience. Viewers are expected to look through a pair of peep holes on the wooden door which makes a block between inside and outside. The voyeur beholds a realistically constructed nude (naked body) lying with the spread legs on twigs, and holding a gas lamp in one hand. The most controversial part of this work is the naked body. Though it is not a hermaphrodite, the sexual organs appear ambiguous. It is a symbolic figure represented as an androgynous body. Because of this, we should think beyond the physical version of the body to understand the artist’s complex ideas. The clue to understand the work is in the title, ‘Given: 1. The Waterfall, 2. The Illuminating Gas’. ‘Given’ is a condition to be granted two elements, ‘the waterfall and the Illuminating Gas’. What do two elements symbolize? The title is at the preface of Duchamp’s Green Box notes. That means <Étant donnés> is another version of <Large Glass>. According to the connection of two works, the Waterfall is a symbol of female and the Illuminating Gas is a symbol of male. The androgyne is at the center of the work. The two symbols support the central theme to make the balance of female and male. The condition of <Étant donnés> is two poles in this work, one is the naked body of the inside and the other is viewers of the outside. He strongly revealed eroticism in this work, but in the form of Androgyny as an allegorical appearance. His idea of Androgyny became conceptualized. There is Duchamp’s play and intrigue in this work, he concealed the essential meaning beyond sexuality. The work reveals an image of conceptual ambiguity. The appropriation of Androgyny is represented by the reconciliation of opposition between art works and viewer. That is less a conclusion than an open-ended investigation. He didn’t have any intention about postmodernism, but the idea of appropriation in his works is one of the most important strategies of postmodernism. The study of Androgyny in Duchamp gives a new version to understand Duchamp in the continuity of art history.
  • 5.

    From an Object to Situations: The Complexity of a Single Object in Dan Flavin’s Early Work 1959-1963

    Jung Eun Young | 2010, (27) | pp.135~168 | number of Cited : 2
    Abstract
    This essay explores the complexity, even contradictions, of the single object motif in Dan Flavin’s early work of 1959-1963. After his seminal the diagonal of May 25, 1963 (to Constantin Brancusi) , Flavin made his art exclusively with the single medium of electric light until his death in 1996. As such, the “singleness” or “one phenomenon”, to use Donald Judd’s words, constituted the core of Flavin’s minimal installations. The seemingly detached,simple use of the readymade medium, however, belies a complex psychological mechanism which operated in the artist’s obsession with light. Focusing on the psychological dimension of Flavin’s early work, I particularly attend to his writings and personal notes as well as his collage constructions and the series entitled icons, and discuss the ways in which Flavin’s complex relation to Catholic belief affected his concentration on the ambient light. More specifically, I illuminate how the artist’s simultaneous denial of and desire for spiritual transcendence resulted in an obsessive return to a situational light in which the Catholic ritual itself was displaced and condensed. My reading of this psychological process in Flavin’s early work is indebted to Jacques Lacan’s analysis of the insistence of signifiers in the realm of the unconscious and Roman Jakobson’s explications of metaphoric and metonymic processes. Analyzing the way in which Flavin’s denial/desire was displaced and condensed, I explore how it was addressed in his early collage constructions adopting reflective objects such as crushed tin cans. The rich, unresolved complexity underlying Flavin’s denial/desire evolved toward a series of icons and culminated in the diagonal of May 25, 1963 as an event rather than an object, i.e., a situation where light itself constantly returns yet its meaning permanently delays as in a metonymic drift.
  • 6.

    Die Metaphor des verrosteten Metalobjekt in der Plastic Art

    김향숙 | 2010, (27) | pp.169~192 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract
    Diese Arbeit handelt sich um die Metapher des verrosteten Metalobjekt in der Plastic Art. Der Rost ist ausgerechnetam wichtigsten Gebrauchsmetall auftauchte und angezeigte, dass dieses im Begriff war, kaputtzugehen. Im verlauf der Jahunderte wurde deshalb zahlreiche Mittel und Methoden ausprobiert, um Eisen und Stahl vor Rost zu schützen. Nichtsdestotrotz stand man 19. Jahrhundert vor einem Korrosionsproblem ungeahnten Ausmasses. Voraussetzung dafür war die industrieelle Revolution. Infolge der massenhaften Erzeugung von Eisen und Stahl, die nun die Industrieprodukte par excellence darstellen, eröffneten sich auch dem Rost neue Wirkungsfelder. Gemiensam mit Eisenwerkstoffen breitete er sich in den westlichen Industrienationen auf alle Lebens bereiche aus. Das moderne Transportwesen, Gebäude, Maschienen und unzähliege Gebrauchsgegenstände des 19. und 20. Jahrhundert s, die auf Eisen und Stahl basierten, erzeugten Rost in allen denkbaren Varianten. Die ikonische Qualität künstlerischer Imagination entbindet jede nur mögliche Gestalt in den Zufallsformen der Natur, wie auch der Lebenswirklichkeit des Menschen, wobei gerade das Unerwartete und Unverwandte eine die Phantasie freisetzende Wirkung zeitigen soll. Phantasie ist eng der Anschauung verbunden, sie nährt sich aus ueberraschenden Erfahrungen, sie wird induktiv und experimentell erzeugt. Bei Künstler, bzw. Schwitters, Picasso, Tinguely, Jacobsen und Boltansky wird der verrosteten Metalobjekt vernehmlich als formgeleistetes Gestaltsehen aktualisiert, in einem Wahrnehmungsakt, welcher den Gestaltwert entbindet und den begrifflichen Sachinhalt wie auch die Funktion des Gegenstandes zeitweise oder auch gänzlich suspendiert. Dann die Gegenst ände, die Fundstücke werden so als latente Bild- und Bedeutungsträger rehabilitiert. Die Kombination der Realgegenstaende steht dabei im Dienst der gestalterischen Idee, welche die Gegenstände als zerbrokene Plastik, plastische Methaphorn, nunsense Maschine, und historische Bedeutung künstlerisch interpretiert. Somit ist die realistischen Norm, die auf Ähnlichkeit mit einem erkünstlerischen Modell verplichtete, konkrete Erfahrung des Wiedererkennens, konstitutiv für die Technik der Assenblage bei Künstler.
  • 7.

    Vito Acconci’s Mur Island: A Challenge to deterritorialization of Art and design

    Jin Whui Yeon | 2010, (27) | pp.193~222 | number of Cited : 2
    Abstract
    As the recent trend that the well-known artists work as designers of everyday commodities has increased, and the design has expanded its’ realm into that of fine art, Hal Foster, one of the leading art historians raised a strong criticism towards the art/design conflation. His disapproval against design which allegedly prevails the entire world today, evolves another fear that this could impair the art criticism. In order to support his idea, Foster cites Adolf Loos’ remarks on ‘Art Nouveau,’ in which Loos states that ‘decoration is a crime and it should be eliminated.’Foster, replacing decoration with design, wants art to maintain its’ own purity in order to restore ‘autonomy.’ His assertion, very much likely of modernist, conflicts to his beliefs in previous studies. Consisted of a critic’s prejudice with elitism of ‘high-brow,’ Foster loses proper stance towards the evaluation of design. In particular, Foster’s arguments deeply depend upon the binarism, which post-structuralism is to deconstruct. Vito Acconci, ex-poet, performance artist, made himself as an architect, and designer. His <Mur Island> is an artificial island/path/public place in the Mur river, Graz, Austria. With its’ unique form, scholars criticizes it as mis-designed architecture. However, Acconci continued to attempt to reverse the typical relationship between the subject and the object in art making and receiving. Acconci regards the viewers as the commander of the space and the creator of the experience within a specific environment. No clear boundary, no distinct functional purpose, yet expanding the chances of the artistic experiences, <Mur island> suggests the real unification of art and design.
  • 8.

    Between Absorption and Awakening: The Installation/Performance works of Ann Hamilton

    Jieun Rhee | 2010, (27) | pp.223~251 | number of Cited : 5
    Abstract
    This paper studies Ann Hamilton’s performance/installation works, which employ various ready-made and found objects and humans engaged in seemingly mundane activities. In straddling between performance and installation, her works tend to blur the boundary drawn between the two distinct artistic practices. Hamilton’s creative efforts can be also considered as a critique of what can be seen as the dominance of sight in visual art by allowing other senses such as smell, sound, and touch to participate in the making and experience of her art. These qualities, the blurring of genre and non-ocularcentric treatment of materials, can be called postmodern in the sense that they take issue with Greenbergian Modernism, which has championed the visuality and the purity of separate artistic practices on the basis of their own material conditions. Ironically, however, the reception of Hamilton’s work reveals that viewers take her works otherwise. With all the aural, tactile, and olfactory distractions that draw their attention, the viewers of Hamilton’s work tend to take a position that has been primarily understood as that of the beholder of Modernist painting. Far from being “awakened” by the work into the surroundings, the viewers are submerged into a state of absorption as their aesthetic response. Many critics duly note the contemplative aspects of Hamilton’s work, using the terms such as ‘meditative’ ‘nostalgic’ ‘religious’ and even ‘sublime’, that have been the words describing the traits of modernist painting. Reading in parallel with the receptions of modernist painting articulated by Michael Fried, this paper will argue the unique qualities of Hamilton’s performance/installation that challenge the binary opposition of modernist and postmodernist aesthetics.