robbiekarmel

DRAWinternational in Caylus, France

Posted in Uncategorized by robbiekarmel on April 5, 2018

I recently undertook a residency at DRAWinternational in Caylus, France. I was in the studio for eight weeks, over which I developed a body of work that will inform my PhD thesis. The residency culminated in an open studio exhibition through the seven rooms of the space. The open studio was presented with this statement:

During my time in the studios at drawInternational I have been undertaking practical and theoretical work towards my PhD. The thesis is concerned with phenomenological embodiment, mimetic representation, and the body as extended through tools, materials, and spaces.

My work here has focused on investigations into how the shape of the body along with the tools and apparatus of the studio facilitate, extend and limit processes of mimetic representation. Most importantly, my practice conceptualises mimetic process not as the the construction of an accurate optical likeness, but the intermodal (or multi-sensory) means by which we make sense of our being-in-the-world through attentive, active, reflective and reiterative exploration:

Mimetic skill or mimesis rests on the ability to produce conscious, self-initiated, representational acts that are intentional but not linguistic… Mimesis is fundamentally different from mimicry in that it involved invention of intentional representations.

-Frank R Wilson, 1998, The Hand p48  

The marks of these drawings are made in sensorial referral to tactility, proprioception (or kinaesthesia), sound, and occasionally vision. In this sense the drawings are observations translated from the interconnected array of senses through gesture into a visual format. In the words of Francis Bacon, these drawings aim to “come across directly onto the nervous system.” (Francis Bacon quoted in The Logic of Sensation, 1981, Giles Deleuze, p32) However rather than being prescriptive of how works are to be viewed I consider this as terms that describe the process and event of the work. The work is a transcriptive element of a conversation between the expansive array of contributing elements: the body, materials, tools, ground, studio space, studio furniture, traditions of drawing, cultural and social context, the audience, and so on.

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Over the course of the residency I constructed studio furniture objects that were used in the production of drawings. They were built to restrict movement and obscure vision during the drawing process, their form influencing the shape of the drawings. I also expanded my materials to include oilstick, which records a different buildup of information than pencil and charcoal.

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The studio.

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The town of Caylus.

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The goats that lived up behind the studio.

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One Response

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  1. Virginia said, on April 8, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    I love your work. It just gets better and better. So un-French (a compliment, possibly ignorant, but from my experience).
    Virginia


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