A four-minute presentation which discusses a piece of work associated with your current project.

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Wittgenstein – Visualising dialogue

Wittgenstein describes language as a  visual connection to the word and proposes that language is subjectively interpreted. He suggests, (in his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus), that private language (we can only relate to the world through ourselves) could be seen as a “beetle in a box”. He expresses the idea thus: I can see my beetle if I look in my box, but I cannot look into your box and see your beetle, nor you mine and thus we cannot fully appreciate the difference between what we hear and what was said. I like this analogy very much and how there is a metaphor in his quotation that relates to my constructed props.

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Maurice Merleau-Ponty : The presence of dialogue

Where two objects or ideas meet there is an alignment in the encounter of the visual and physical nature of the event. In this, the perception of the encounter and the spatiality of the ‘thing’ created by the encounter are not separate. I seek to communicate a visual and phenomenological articulation of the interchange in the meeting of two people and the dialogue they share.

Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s (MMP) Phenomenology of Perception considers the many aspects involved in determining the possibilities we bring to a dialogue between ourselves and ‘the encounter’. He considers how the experience of ourselves in this act is concurrently passive and active; thus determining that this act embodies the concept of “Chiasm” and explains that we are able to differentiate between the act of touching and of being touched if we stroke our own arm for instance.

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Nick Cave – Artist

Nick Cave’s suits create, for him, a disguise and ask us to examine those immediacies on which we judge others. ( this concept references Levinas and Haigi philosophies).  The connection between the function of Cave’s work and mine is that we both seek to ask a question of its audience and sets up dialogue in terms of the embodiment of the concept. The experience of Caves works creates awareness of the proximity as a definition of the separation between the wearer and the viewer and the invites a phenomenological perception of the dialogue in that encounter.

Screenshot 2020-01-26 at 17.36.53Ciara Phillips – Artist

The connection to my work is through the creation of content from an outside source is an important part of my practice. It creates a thematic which may or may not work with the content as I had originally envisioned.  It can change the course of the work and definitely expands the narrative.  The correlation between the Conversational Snippets and the encounter of the props will create a dialogue which works as an example of the need for participation in my practice.

Phillips invites audience participation as an important factor in her installations. Her interest in printed ephemera as the display has been successfully repeated in multiple locations. Not just gallery spaces but also landmark locations which lend validity to her political and often feminist message. There is something compelling in the multiplicity of the repeated imagery. Bold, forceful, she directs her message visually to her public, as she asks her audience to take the time to appreciate and re-appraise in light of the re-presentation of a point of view. In other words, she needs the audience to complete the work according to their priori but using her queuing to direct their perception.


List of Figures

Figure 1. Conversational Snippets props – sculpture by Jo LB Panama cotton fabric, quilting, shrimping nets, approx dimensions  750mm x  450mm var.Figure 2 – The Presence of Dialogue. A developmental step – Photograph Jo LB digital jpg 900 x 1200 pxl

Figure 2 – The Presence of Dialogue – A developmental step – Photograph Jo LB digital jpg 900 x 1200 pxl

Figure 3 – Sabarese, T. (2012) ‘Creature Couture’.[in 4.0, C.b.-n. Creative Commons. www: @creativecommons. 600 x 600 pxls. Available at: https://search.creativecommons.org/ (Accessed: 26/01/20).

Figure 4 – @PlymArtsCentre (2017) ‘We The People Are The Work: Ciara Phillips – Systems For Saying It | Plymouth Arts Cinema | Independent Cinema for Everyone | Plymouth College of Art.’.[in Phillips, W.T.P.A.T.W.-C. Plymouth Arts Centre. www: @PlymArtsCentre. 982.28 kbs. Available at: https://plymouthartscentre.org/whats-on/people-work-ciaraphillips/


Drake, S. (2005) ‘The Chiasm and the Experience of Space: Steven Holl’s Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki’. Journal of Architectural Education, 59 (2), pp. 53-59.

Herring, E. (2019) ‘Essay: Ellie Herring for Washington Garcia  Written for Ciara Phillips at Washington Garcia Gallery,’.[Exhibition Catalogue] in Gallery, W.G. Washington: Washington Garcia Gallery. Available at: https://www.ciaraphillips.com/index.php/more/texts/

Hjort, J. (2013) Nick Cave: The World is my Skin – Louisiana Channel. Louisiana Channel. Available at: https://channel.louisiana.dk/video/nick-cave-world-my-skin (Accessed: 14 October 2019).

Lundquist, B. (1999) ‘Wittgenstein and Aesthetics: What is the Language of Art?’. Minnesota: Gustavus Adolphus College. Available at: https://gustavus.edu/philosophy/Brooke.html (Accessed: 17/01/2020).

Merleau-Ponty, M. (1945/2005) Phenomenology of Perception (Hardback) – Routledge. Translated by Smith, C., 4 edn. London: New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

Phillips, C. (2016) ‘Texts & Reviews : Ciara Phillips’. Author. [Online]. Available at: https://www.ciaraphillips.com/index.php/more/texts/ (Accessed: 1/06/2019).