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UAL Research Online

Discreet Works

Douglas, Lorrice (2022) Discreet Works. PhD thesis, University of the Arts London.

Type of Research: Thesis
Creators: Douglas, Lorrice

This thesis asks how artwork considered as discreet, fragmented or fleeting can exist within an artistic discourse which values display, exhibition and public visibility. What has so far been lacking in debates on the discreet in art is the context of the artists’ own narrative and an analysis of the setting in which the discreet work takes place. To provide this narrative and analysis, the thesis uses an artist’s residency as an informal container or laboratory in which the behavioural aspects of being discreet can be examined. An art residency living and working amongst archaeologists in Greece is used to learn what “a light touch” means to the scholarly archaeological community in terms of their engagement with fragments, precious findings and artefacts. The research takes the form of “discreet works”, using photography, interviews, audio recording, and incidental encounters as expressed through autobiographical writing and narrative fragments.

This research examines an approach to “being discreet”, more reflective of the practice of a science-based archaeologist in the laboratory, whose actions will rarely be portrayed in the resulting museum display, than of the artist whose works carry their visible signature. A key to understanding my methodology is provided in my discussion of Balboa, a dance which, paradoxically, ensures its own distinctiveness by means of subtlety and – most crucially – not appearing to draw attention to itself. My research in Athens, similarly, has used “undisplay” to disclose the distinctiveness of the artist’s presence and their behaviour in the context of a residency. This at times offers an artistic conception of the value of fragments that is the basis of archaeology. My research is aimed at arts practitioners seeking a framework for understanding art practices that use elements of containment in the service of a mode of display.

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Chelsea College of Arts
Date: October 2022
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2024 13:03
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2024 13:03
Item ID: 21531
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/21531

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