in|form: the performative object: the exploration of body, motion and form

Newrick, Tiffany Rewa
Braddock, Chris
McIntyre, Simon
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Master of Art and Design
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Auckland University of Technology

Through the sculptural object, this thesis, in|form: The per formative object, explores the relationships between body and object, viewer and artist, performance and the per formative. By exploring the performativity of an object (and questioning how an object performs in relation to the body), the documented performances activate an inter-relational act between artist and object (I perform the object, the object performs me simultaneously). The work that unfolds from this investigation considers the placement of the viewer’s body in relation to the artist’s. A dialogue is formed between the three bodies: object, artist and viewer, creating a sense of embodiment within the work through this relationship. in|form explores this embodiment through the role of video documentation. The performances are constructed to be viewed solely through the documentation, which creates a discussion between the ‘live’ moment and the documented event, and how the viewer then relates to this. The performances take place as solo acts, but are constructed with the viewer in mind. As the viewer watches the documented performance of the action between artist and object in space, the relational nature of the work creates a second performance which embodies the viewer. This sole action, recorded and then viewed, considers the relational value of the body, specifically engaging with the abstraction of bodily formlessness within the object to reveal a bodily nature. Using the object to trace the movement of the body creates a language that communicates to, and about, both viewer and artist: through the awareness of passing time, through the large scale projection of the documentation, through the bodily nature of the object, and through the performativity of the object’s responsive nature to the artist’s body as the pair navigate through space. in|form explores how the absence of the body (in a literal sense) considers the body as an object bound by time, at once physical yet transient. By tracing the motion of the body through object, the viewer experiences the body through sensibility. Ultimately, the function of the body negotiating as a time-bound object is imitated through the performativity of the object with artist, and the elusiveness of this action emphasized by its documentation.

Body as object , Measuring movement , Video performative document , Sculptural performance , Absence of body , Duration of time
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