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Towards an aesthetic of simultaneity: conceptual art and beyond

Morgan-Evans, TJ; (2012) Towards an aesthetic of simultaneity: conceptual art and beyond. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

This thesis argues that we reconsider the philosophical premises which prefigure our encounter with art today. The thematic of ‘simultaneity’ is proposed as one means which might enable this to be achieved. Mapping the notion of simultaneity’s constant presence in art and philosophy associated with Conceptual art after 1960, I look at how this un-examined modality lies at the core of some of our understandings of the subject, its object and the relationship between the two. I also consider how this theme leads us back towards a territory of possibility that re-invigors the claims and concerns of materialism. This is done systematically, though idiomatically, through the careful analysis of the art work itself, in equal and non-hierarchical tandem with theoretical models. The thesis began as a speculative enquiry into what it could possibly mean that simultaneity seemed so central and embedded within aesthetic practices. It became a series of re-approaches to art whose most significant readings seem to over enthusiastically deny the possibility of the spectator’s encounter with the real, or a relatable contact with matter, in favour of a post-structuralist model of analysis. The arrangement of the thesis is not entirely chronological, though historical contextualisation is important, it, rather, adheres to a narrative drive which begins with the systems and language-based aesthetics of the late sixties, and moves further in the direction of material possibility; of an unpredetermined and contingent space in which to encounter the work of art.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Towards an aesthetic of simultaneity: conceptual art and beyond
Language:English
Additional information:Permission for digitisation not received
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > History of Art

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