Field of Study: Fine Art
Title: Projective space: spatial displacements and psychological projection
Director of Studies: David Ryan
Additional Supervisors: Dr Laura Jacobus and Dr Brendan Prendeville
Wollheim's theory of artistic expression identifies projection as central to 'correspondence' - a relation between an artefact and an emotion which the artwork invokes by virtue of how it looks. Yet the theory lacks specificity as to how 'projective properties' attach to artworks, as properties which reside in the works themselves rather than the projector. I will address this question of attachment using artworks that employ 'space' as a conduit for the projection of emotions. I will argue that some key works of Renaissance art depart from Panofsky's categorisation of perspective as homogeneous space in order to create deliberately 'non-mathematical' passages within an otherwise 'rationally' constructed pictorial space. These spatial displacements channel the viewer's projection to an inviolable space within the work, a space subject to temporal anamorphosis. Can such a concept of a projective space be extended beyond painting? And if so, can it operate with any kind of equivalence? I will test these questions against works that combine strategies of location and displacement by artists associated with 'conceptual art' (Smithson, Nauman and Asher), and new/existing examples of my own practice as an installation artist, a practice which employs the 'geometry' of projection in ways that give rise to displacements in the encounter between a spectator and an artwork.