The exposition Images and their Agency presents a text alongside a group of paintings. The text is a reflection on the practice-based research being carried out across a number of paintings concerning images and there agency. This project is ongoing.
We need to grasp both sides of the paradox of the image: that it is alive but also dead; powerful but also weak; meaningful but also meaningless. (wjt Mitchell, what do pictures want)
In the text I respond to W.J.T Mitchell’s suggestion to consider the aliveness and the deadness of images. I take a phenomenological perspective and consider how we experience their power and weakness, their meaning and meaninglessness - how we experience their agency. I do this by critically reflecting on a group of paintings I begun making in 2004; I enquire into the capacity of these paintings to address the agency of the image and how it is felt or experienced.
I am concerned with a common ontological or moral proposition that they as a group of images pose. This proposition of the image is the focus of my practice-based research.
I frame the enquiry into this group of painting through three sets of questions. The first set of questions concerns the image, which is explored through Badiou’s ideas on the truth process. The second concerns the body, which is explored through J. Bennett’s research into affect and trauma. The third concerns Flesh, which is explored through Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological reflections on the relations between eye and mind.