Explorations of the painted real : technological mediation in the work of four artists

Heyer, Gina Margareta (2011-03)

Thesis (MA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis is an investigation into the relationship between photorealistic painting and specific devices used to aid the artist in mediating the real. The term 'reality' is negotiated and a hybrid theoretical approach to photorealism, including mimesis and semiotics, is suggested. Through careful analysis of Vermeer's suspected use of the camera obscura, I argue that camera vision already started in the 17th century, thus signalling the dramatic shift from the classical Cartesian perspective scopic regime to the model of vision offered by the camera long before the advent of photography. I suggest that contemporary photorealist painters do not just merely and objectively copy, but use photographic source material with a sophisticated awareness in response to a rapidly changing world. Through an examination of the way in which the camera obscura and photographic camera are used in the works of four artists, I suggest that a symbiotic relationship of subtle tensions between painting and photographic technology emerges. This results in visions of the painted real that may be meaningful to contemporary society and have the ability to emotionally affect the viewer.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis ondersoek die verhouding tussen fotorealistiese skilderkuns en die spesifieke metodes wat die kunstenaar se vertolking van die werklikheid vergemaklik. Die term, 'realiteit' word krities oorweeg te midde van 'n saamgestelde teoretiese aanslag tot fotorealisme wat mimesis en semiotiek insluit. Deur 'n noukeurige analise van Vermeer se oënskynlike gebruik van die camera obscura, hou ek voor dat fotografiese sig reeds sedert die 17e eeu teenwoordig is. Hierdie gewaarwording dui op 'n dramatiese skuif vanaf 'n klassieke, Kartesiaanse perspektief en skopiese regime tot die model van visie gebied deur die kamera, lank voor die ontwikkeling van fotografie. Ek stel voor dat kontemporêre fotorealistiese skilders nie bloot objektief kopieër nie, maar fotografiese verwysings met 'n gesofistikeerde bewussyn in reaksie tot 'n vinnigveranderende wêreld gebruik. Deur 'n ondersoek na die wyse waarop die camera obscura en fotografiese kamera in die werke van vier kunstenaars gebruik word, stel ek voor dat 'n simbiotiese verhouding die subtiele spanning tussen skilderkuns en fotografiese tegnologie meemaak. Dit lei tot visionêre weergawes van 'n geskilderde realiteit wat 'n betekenisvolle posisie in die kontemporêre samelewing beklee en die moontlikheid besit om die toeskouer op 'n emosionele vlak te affekteer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/6633
This item appears in the following collections: