A Monstrous Rhinoceros (as from life): Toward (and Beyond) the Epistemological Nature of the Enacted Pictorial Image
Cambridge Scholars Publishing
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Since early modernism, the conventional view of art and of art history was one that removed art from the stream of lived experience, to treat it as an expression of the imagination of the artist, and as such as a symbolic representation of a concrete external reality (Ingold, 2010; Malafouris, 2007; Wind, 1983). The questioning of the epistemological role of the pictorial image is enjoying a current resurgence within fields dealing with the visual arts, specifically in light of contemporary non-representational models of perception and cognition. From attempts to understanding the practice of drawing as ‘bringing forth’ of a reality (Cain, 2010), to rethinking paleontological images through its ‘processes’ of becoming (Malafouris, 2007; Ambrose, 2006). Within the field of anthropology, the symbolic (representational) nature of ‘art’ has been strongly contested, instead, taking a pragmatist approach, proposing that we should consider the activities of drawing, painting and carving not as a means of representing a world, but of revealing or bringing forth a world through a kind of ‘perceptual visual thinking’ (Malafouris, 2007, p. 299) linked to the sensi-motor engagement of the artist and the world. Such approaches maintain that in doing so, the studying of the pictorial image (specifically that of the Palaeolithic era) offers radical new epistemic access to the world of visual experience.
Woodward, M. (2014) ‘A Monstrous Rhinoceros (As From Life): The Epistemological Role of the Enacted Pictorial Image’., in Yung, S.T. and Peibalga, A., Design Directions: The Relationship between Humans and Technology. Cambridge Scholars Publishing
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