painting analogies between body boundaries and spatial borders: permeability, thresholds and delineations
Using painting and installation to bring an embodied, feminist practice into the long history of mapping space from the position of the body, I am interested in exploring how the body, with a particular focus on the permeability of its boundary, be used to think about larger systems of spatial organization and delineation.
A joint personal, material and philosophical exploration, my research-creation project merges disciplines I have previously kept separate: painting, architecture and art history, to address questions of body boundary permeability and how the border of the body, and embodied practices can be used to think about larger systems of spatial organization. Taking the form of an immersive installation and written thesis, this research unfolds in various phases. As a first entry point into my question, I adopted a method of performative, autoethnographic writing, whereby I wrote both from the imagined position of being inside of my paintings and a more distanced position of analyzing them from the outside. This process became a way to tease out the most significant concepts in my work: body boundary permeability, borders, and the changing relationships created through shifting delineations.
Thought of within a larger theoretical framework of feminist philosophy, embodiment, spatial theory and post-structuralism, this research-based process directly fed into the second phase: material explorations in physical space. These explorations, which are ongoing, experiment with how the concepts inherent to my painting practice might become reconfigured as they shift from flat, pictorial representation into the temporal and spatial realm of a more immersive installation, using embodied media like light and sound. Although my painting practice provides a very valuable space for performative research, the two-dimensional medium of painting is restrictive, and thus a shift from painting to installation is a move from representation to materiality and making. This move provides a more conducive space to engage with the question of how the body, with a particular focus on the permeability of its boundary, can be used to think about larger systems of spatial organization and delineation, bringing an embodied, feminist practice into the long history of mapping space from the position of the body.