Thesis Abstract

The Exploration of the Modes of Seeing through the Body that explore the Haptic way of Seeing
This thesis explores the modes of seeing through the body that explore the haptic way of seeing in relation to contemporary art practice today. It examines the historical concept of vision and the ocularcentric nature of philosophy that was the basis for art theory. It explores how the reliance of this philosophy on the isolated mode of seeing gradually changed to incorporate modes of seeing other than the purely visual.
The thesis explores the works of Brazilian artist Lygia Clark and tracks the progress of Clark’s art practice through four of her artworks. It portrays how Clark’s removal of the traditional frame allowed her artworks to come off the wall and onto the floor leading on to an embodied participatory practice that displayed her keen interest in involving the viewer in the artwork in an embodied haptic way. It revealed how Clark investigated other modes of seeing other than the purely visual and was keenly interested in people experiencing her artworks through their own bodies.
It investigates selected works of contemporary artists Rikrijt Trivajanji, Carmen Papalia, Raphaelle De Groot and Suzanne Lacy who also engage the viewer in a mode of seeing other than the purely visual and how the haptic mode of seeing is evident in contemporary art today.
It concludes that the haptic is indeed a mode of seeing through the body that creates a multisensorial experience of art as opposed to the viewing of art by the ‘disembodied eye’.

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