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UAL Research Online

Do Mice Think in Italian?

Ashton, Edwina (2006) Do Mice Think in Italian? [Art/Design Item]

Type of Research: Art/Design Item
Creators: Ashton, Edwina

‘Do mice think in Italian?’ is a group of films, drawings, drawn wallpaper and performances exploring language, uncertainty and humour. They were made at the British School, Rome.

The visual sources for this work were found in a wide range of artefacts; frescoes, archaeological objects, sculptures and monuments in and close to Rome.

Specifically, the project attempted to reconcile and transform a soft brand of analytical philosophy which asks what is the nature of consciousness, can it be described objectively, how is meaning formed, how does language work exemplified by W.V.O. Quine in ‘Word and Object’ 1960 and T Nagel in ‘What’s it like to be a bat?’ 1974. On another level it reflected upon the language and conventions of academic learning and research.

For the performances a quasi-academic lecturer gave a digressive talk on moth behaviour, assisted by caterpillars. In the films and drawings, characters, usually animals, often in clothes and speaking or behaving like human beings used simple language to reveal inadvertent psychological states (expectations, hopes and ideas.) and so implicate the viewer in fantastical scenarios. Absurdity and skewed anthropomorphism are used to reveal the manifold ways language is used and how intentions rarely match reality.

The locations; parks, gardens and museums (mostly in Rome), the British School and unrecognisable interiors were chosen to build up a context which generated a further raft of abstract qualities: inappropriateness, unplannedness, transience and incompleteness.

The work was profiled by Sarah Kent in Time Out.

Additional Information (Publicly available):

Edwina Ashton

Subject Area: Fine Art, Painting
Research Group: Subjectivity and Feminisms (ICFAR)

Current Research

To consider and develop some questions in relation to 'character'; to look at the specific qualities of faces and how these effect and relate to sentimentality, subjectivity and character. To develop scenarios and scripts exploring overstatement, action and inaction and the difficulties of communication. To research the design and hand manufacture of wallpaper; to experiment with and develop series of drawings and films exploring fantastical characters which pursue a sombre, and restrained scepticism alongside, hysterical excitement and aesthetic self reflection. These drawings and films would adopt a skittish disregard towards solutions found and so reflect on the conformities of performing, events and evading seriousness.

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Chelsea College of Arts
Research Centres No Longer Active > International Centre for Fine Art Research (ICFAR)
Date: 1 September 2006
Funders: Wingate Rome Scholarship
Locations / Venues:
LocationFrom DateTo Date
Camden Art Centre, London
E.U.Representation, London
Transiti, Bologna
Transiti 1, British School, Rome
Salon 2007, (London
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2009 22:46
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2010 12:49
Item ID: 1590
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1590

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