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Cooking up a Storm? Post-production as interpretation

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My paper examines the double nature of interpretation at the level of the production/exhibiting of artwork and at the level of writing in the context of doctoral research through a discussion of the concept and technology of post-production. Based on Nicholas Davey's account of Gadamer's contribution to hermeneutical aesthetics, as well as Davey's own concept of theoria, my paper seeks to highlight an awareness of the different elements of interpretive work and the productive nature of post-production, and argues especially for the role of writing in the creation of a (new) art object in the context of research. With the emphasis on the materiality of the work, the performative and dialogical quality of interpretation and its inter-relationship with the different identities of the artist as producer/maker and viewer/critic/writer are highlighted.

The different levels and temporalities of post-productive interpretation are then traced through examples of two types of writing which form part of my own practice-based Ph.D. These consist of a post-facto report and an academic (published) essay that relate to my two solo exhibitions. It is argued that in these examples the instability of vision created by the installation itself mirrors the ambiguity of interpretation and the multiple roles of the artist as viewer/critic/maker.

Like its common usage in film, post-production encompasses its object as artifact literally and metaphorically. The theoretical and interpretative thrust of post-production becomes part of an on-going practice and feeds into future work, both theoretical and practical.

Keywords: artist as viewer/critic/maker; interpretation; post-production; temporal interpretation; theoria; writing

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/jvap.8.1and2.7_1

Affiliations: Centre for Visual and Cultural Studies, Edinburgh College of Art; Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee.

Publication date: May 1, 2009

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  • The domain of visual art hosts a multitude of artistic forms and practices. The Journal of Visual Art Practice supports research across the entire range of this varied field. The journal engages with the progressive nature of the subject, reflecting upon the changing terrain of art in recent years.
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