Picturing Archaeologies: The Meta-archaic Aesthetic

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Woodrow, Ross

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Kirker, Marjorie

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This exegesis outlines the procedures, processes and methodology used in developing a significant body of studio work that investigates the archaeological metaphor/method. Following the established modes of practice­‐based research, the outcomes can be seen in several phases: the work developed and exhibited during the candidature in two major exhibitions and the culminating submission exhibition. All of the outcomes were a result of intensive studio practice, and used the studio as a platform to establish a symbiotic relationship with comtemporary museum practices and to experiment with new approaches to production and display The works of art discussed in the exegesis, and those developed during the candidature demonstrate the gradual exploration of the production of images: from painting with translucent layers, to working with light and translucent supports. These processes culminate in a collection of original works that establish the potential for a methodology based on an aesthetic derived from the descriptive methods outlined in Michel Foucault’s seminal work, The Archaeology of Knowledge. A growing number of artists are using archaeological analysis as a methodological complex that engages with official and unofficial histories. In doing so, the archaeological analysis of knowledge — in particular as it accumulates in the archive, the document, and the image — has been called upon to question and represent knowledge. This research applies the usually discursive method to the realm of images. I call this a meta-­archaic aesthetic, and explore the imaginative aspects of Foucault’s conceptualization.

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Thesis (PhD Doctorate)

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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Queensland College of Art

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The author owns the copyright in this thesis, unless stated otherwise.

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Meta-archaic aesthetic

Foucault, Michel, 1926-1984

Painting and light

Translucence in paintings

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