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Reflecting self : an exploration of drawing trace as reciprocity between self and life-world, with reference to my own drawing and selected works of Diane Victor

Kruger, Marieke ; Malan, Marieke (2015-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The study postulates that drawing functions as a valuable vehicle that facilitates reciprocity between the drafter and her life-world. This relationship of exchange can bring about transformation of the self. The study is a qualitative study that aims to establish an understanding of how drawing functions as a vehicle facilitating reciprocity between the drafter and her life-world. In order to effectively research the transformative potential of reciprocity between artist, drawing, and life-world, theoretically and practically, the study is divided into two main parts. Firstly, it constitutes a theoretical section, which forms the foundation for further exploration in the second part of the study. Secondly, the study focuses on the practical manifestation of the theories as manifest in my drawings and in selected drawings of Diane Victor, whose work primarily functions as ‘a third person perspective’ in relation to my own work. The study is rooted in a psycho-analytical framework, focusing on Self psychology and Intersubjective Psychoanalysis of personality psychologists such as Jung, Miller, Goldberg and McAdams, amongst others, as well as the writings of philosophers, art historians and drawing theorists such as Jacques Derrida, Catherine de Zegher, and Suzi Gablik. Valuable links are forged between the transformative potential of drawing, the psychological and the spiritual. Parallels are drawn between notions derived from self-psychology and theology, based on the premise that human beings constitute body (physical aspect), soul (mind and emotion) and spirit, three components that are hardly divisible and that work together in drawing, effecting the transformation of the self. I argue that a failure to acknowledge the significance of the interactivity between these facets limits and inhibits the transformative potential of the drawing process. Through interactivity between the self and her life-world through drawing, moments of ‘recognition’ and ‘knowing’ occur - concerning hidden ‘truths’ of the self, which could affect personal transformation. In this study, life-world comprises inner and outer world, a visible and invisible world. The visible world focuses on the interaction of the self with nature and culture, and the invisible world focuses on the interaction of the self with a psychic world, which includes the workings of the conscious and unconscious mind in drawing and their connection with a spiritual dimension. The spiritual aspect in drawing is researched through the notions of transformative “presence” and the “transcendent function” of drawing. The study explores the psychological and spiritual value of drawings as transformative selfobjects to address the general neglect of the spiritual. I affirm that there exists a mutually conducive potential and influence that the interplay between the spiritual and the psychological in the drawing process bring about. As a “selfobject”, a drawing attains its own ‘silent visual language’ replacing or assisting the role of the therapist, becoming pivotal in a transformative ‘interpersonal dialogue’. Lastly, Jung (Miller, 2004:4) claims that the unification of the conscious and unconscious eventually results in “a living birth that leads to a new level of being, a new situation” (Miller, 2004:4).

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die studie veronderstel dat teken funksioneer as 'n waardevolle voertuig wat wisselwerking fasiliteer tussen die tekenaar en haar omwêreld, ‘n wisselwerking wat kan lei tot transformasie van die self. Die studie is 'n kwalitatiewe studie wat daarop gemik is om 'n begrip te kweek van hoe teken funksioneer as voertuig wat wisselwerking fasiliteer tussen die self en haar omwêreld. Ten einde die transformatiewe potensiaal van sodanige wisselwerking deur middel van teken effektief te bestudeer op ʼn teoretiese asook ʼn praktiese vlak, word die studie verdeel in twee hoofdele. Eerstens bied die studie 'n teoretiese gedeelte wat die grondslag vorm vir verdere ondersoek in die tweede deel. Tweedens fokus die studie op die praktiese manifestasie en toeligting van die teorieë in my tekeninge en in geselekteerde tekeninge van Diane Victor, wie se werk hoofsaaklik funksioneer as ‘ʼn derde persoon perspektief’ in verhouding tot my eie werk. Die studie is gewortel in 'n psigo-analitiese raamwerk, met die fokus op Selfsielkunde en Intersubjektiewe Psigo-analise van persoonlikheidsielkundiges soos Jung, Miller, Goldberg en McAdams, onder andere, sowel as die geskrifte van filosowe, kunsgeskiedkundiges en tekenteoretici soos Jacques Derrida, Catherine de Zegher en Suzi Gablik. Die studie het dus ten doel om betekenisvolle bande te smee tussen die transformerende potensiaal van teken, die sielkundige asook geestelike werking wat dit teweegbring. Parallelle word getrek tussen begrippe in selfsielkunde en teologie, gebaseer op die veronderstelling dat die mens bestaan uit liggaam (fisiese aspek), siel (verstand en emosies) en gees. Hierdie onderskeie aspekte (liggaam, siel en gees), is moeilik deelbaar en werk onlosmaaklik saam in die tekenproses ten einde die transformasie van die self te bevorder en te bewerkstellig. Ek argumenteer dat indien ‘n mens versuim om die betekenis en waarde van die interaktiwiteit tussen hierdie fasette te herken, word die transformatiewe potensiaal van die tekenproses misken. Teken kan derhalwe beskou word as ʼn effektiewe voertuig wat wisselwerkende prosesse tussen die self en haar leefwêreld fasiliteer, waartydens daar oomblike van ‘erkenning’ en ‘weet’ voorkom met betrekking tot verborge ‘waarhede’ van die self wat persoonlike transformasie kan beïnvloed. In hierdie studie word daar na omwêreld verwys as 'n interne asook ʼn eksterne wêreld, 'n sigbare en onsigbare wêreld. Wisselwerking dui op die interaksie van die self met die natuur asook kultuur as die sigbare. Wisselwerking dui ook op interaksie van die self met 'n psigiese, onsigbare wêreld. Hierdie psigiese wêreld van die self omvat die bewuste en onderbewussyn deur middel van teken, asook die verband met' n geestelike dimensie. Die geestelike aspek in teken word bestudeer deur die konsepte van transformatiewe "teenwoordigheid" en die "transedentale funksie" van teken. Die studie ondersoek die sielkundige en geestelike waarde van tekeninge wat as transformatiewe ‘selfobjekte’ die potensiaal besit om die algemene verwaarlosing van die geestelike aan te spreek. Ek bevestig dat daar 'n wedersydse bevorderlike wisselwerking en invloed bestaan tussen die geestelike en die psigologiese wat deur wederkerige prosesse binne die tekenproses gefasiliteer word. As 'n ‘selfobjek’ kommunikeer tekeninge deur hul eie ‘stille visuele taal’ en toon die potentiaal om die rol van ʼn terapeut te vervang, of alternatiewelik, te ondersteun, deur middel van visuele ‘interpersoonlike dialoog’. Laastens, beweer Jung dat die eenwording van die bewuste en onbewuste eventueel kulmineer in "ʼn lewende geboorte wat lei tot 'n nuwe vlak van bestaan, 'n nuwe situasie" (Miller, 2004:4).

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