Documentation, Or How To See The Invisible. Methodological Basis For Analysis And Interpretation Of Ephemeral Works Of Art Cover Image

Dokumentacja, Czyli Jak Zobaczyć Niewidoczne. Podstawy Metodologiczne Analizy I Interpretacji Dzieł Efemerycznych
Documentation, Or How To See The Invisible. Methodological Basis For Analysis And Interpretation Of Ephemeral Works Of Art

Author(s): Łukasz Guzek
Subject(s): Sociology of Art
Published by: Akademia Sztuk Pięknych w Gdańsku
Keywords: dokumentacja; sztuka efemeryczna; metodologia interpretacji; George Didi-Huberman; Łukasz Guzek

Summary/Abstract: DOCUMENTATION, OR HOW TO SEE THE INVISIBLE. METHODOLOGICAL BASIS FOR ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION OF EPHEMERAL WORKS OF ART Working with documentation in the case of ephemeral works in a necessity. If the ephemerality is the basic assumption of the art project, the documentation is the only artefact that remains. Such an attitude means that the documentation becomes the sole artwork in its own right and can be researched just like any other works of art. This is the situation in the case of action art, processual and conceptual works. The unique and particular status of such artworks means that they require a particular research methodology. The construction of such a methodology is still in the phase of recognition of its feasibility. This text points to its possible condition on the meta- methodological level, and to a lesser extent at the level of practice. The specificity of the documentation of ephemeral works means that when we study its documentation we are by nature “confronting images” of what was before this image. In my article, I refer to methodological reflection of George Didi-Huberman from his publication Confronting Images. The main subjects of my text are questions concerning the relationship between the word (description, interpretation) and the picture, and what Didi-Huberman called ‘aporias’, or disturbances which the picture introduces to knowledge (we see what we want to see, not what is presented), and this is illustrated by relevant examples. In the attitude of the researcher towards the image, an openness of looking at the image is crucial. This means building a re-actualising narrative emerging from the description of the representation. The source of new narratives in the history of art are image analysis, in which we pay attention to detail and the ‘pan’ and the interpretation results from their dialectical relationship, which allows the limits of the description on the objective level of the document-image to be exceeded towards the dynamic and therefore performative approach to the meaning of the work. The manner of understanding the word ‘pan’ is of key importance here. I analyze it based on the example of Ryszard Waśko's experimental film. And the manner of picture reception of a ‘pan’ type is characterized by the notions taken from the theory of information adapted to art by Mieczysław Porębski. In conclusion, in addition to the methodological framework of working with documentation of ephemeral works, I also point out the urgent need to undertake such research, because works of this type constitute a ‘blind spot’ or ‘black matter’ in the field of art history, and this by now concerns a huge and growing number of works and projects.

  • Issue Year: 2017
  • Issue No: 17
  • Page Range: 9-15
  • Page Count: 7
  • Language: Polish