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Sites of Unlearning: Encountering Perforated Ground

Ariel, Dana; (2018) Sites of Unlearning: Encountering Perforated Ground. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

This research project addresses the struggle to encounter and see others, and otherness, beyond preconceptions. Through my art practice I experiment with methods that aim to implicate the viewer in acts of ‘unlearning.’ These acts intend to provoke the desire to see beyond what has been seen and known before. I experiment with the printing processes of photographs and hybrid printmaking techniques, video, abstract concepts of drawing lines and text works in order to highlight the ambiguity in language and to create sites for ‘unlearning.’ My methodology developed from the German verb ‘verlernen,’ that translates to unlearning or forgetting in English. This verb contains within its meaning an action that is both passive and active. In my practice, it also emphasises the desire for a process that must be constantly at work. Experimenting with methods of erasure, I search landscape and language for moments of misidentification and misreading that offer generative ways to challenge the single reading of images and words. Through encountering sites in the UK, Germany, Israel and Palestine, as well as the material sites of making, I explore cultural and political narratives and my own biography. The encounters with these sites complicate the different rights and limitations applied to citizens, immigrants and refugees, and question what methods of identification are at play and whether they manifest themselves in the landscape. These encounters confront me with the ambiguity of the law and my national identity when meeting military forces and people who inhabit the landscape, as they both engage in acts of surveillance. These boundaries between different civil and national identities blur further through the collapse of dichotomies such as hospitality and hostility, poetics and violence and access and restrictions. The artworks I create allow for pauses or gaps that aim to challenge these positions and dichotomies.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Sites of Unlearning: Encountering Perforated Ground
Event: UCL (University College London)
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > The Slade School of Fine Art
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10052411
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