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Memorials of Suffering - The human trace in artefacts by Doris Salcedo

Streiffert, Christina LU (2012) KOVM12 20121
Division of Art History and Visual Studies
Abstract
The aim of this study has been to enable a depiction of humanness without having recourse to the human body and to make it conceivable to relate to the aesthetics of anthropomorphism. Four artworks from as many installations by the Colombian artist Doris Salcedo have made up a base for the investigation: Atrabiliarios (Defiant, Bitterness), Untitled, La Casa Viuda
(The Widow House or The Widowed House) and Plegaria Muda (Silent Prayer or Silenced Prayer). These installations have been related to critics dealing with tropes, semiotics and anthropomorphism. Most critics relate their interpretations to literature, sometimes poetry, and the poet Paul Celan has been inserted as a subordinate subject matter. Human suffering turned into... (More)
The aim of this study has been to enable a depiction of humanness without having recourse to the human body and to make it conceivable to relate to the aesthetics of anthropomorphism. Four artworks from as many installations by the Colombian artist Doris Salcedo have made up a base for the investigation: Atrabiliarios (Defiant, Bitterness), Untitled, La Casa Viuda
(The Widow House or The Widowed House) and Plegaria Muda (Silent Prayer or Silenced Prayer). These installations have been related to critics dealing with tropes, semiotics and anthropomorphism. Most critics relate their interpretations to literature, sometimes poetry, and the poet Paul Celan has been inserted as a subordinate subject matter. Human suffering turned into reminiscence of the individual victim are conspicuous themes in Salcedo’s artistry as well as in Celan’s poetry.
A concise overview of the four installations as a whole, and a more detailed presentation of the artefacts have been related to tropes of allegory, metaphor and metonymy, as well as to semiotics, and more briefly to phenomenology. The human trace, or non-trace, have further been related to the absent victim and to those left behind in grief, including some Celan stanzas in their context. The trace indicating embodiment and the void in the installations and artworks have then as far as possible been related to the aesthetics of anthropomorphism. The notion of presence in absence turns obvious in the artworks as a whole, as well as in Celan’s poetry. This presence in absence - or absence in presence - have finally most concisely been related to metaphysics and surrealist points of view in order to find a way to relate the void to the aesthetics of anthropomorphism; a short discussion ending up in more of a starting point than of a conclusion. (Less)
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author
Streiffert, Christina LU
supervisor
organization
course
KOVM12 20121
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
anthropomorphism, embodiment, human trace, metaphysics, semiotics, tropes, violence, void
language
English
id
2542687
date added to LUP
2012-08-20 10:37:53
date last changed
2012-09-03 09:09:04
@misc{2542687,
  abstract     = {The aim of this study has been to enable a depiction of humanness without having recourse to the human body and to make it conceivable to relate to the aesthetics of anthropomorphism. Four artworks from as many installations by the Colombian artist Doris Salcedo have made up a base for the investigation: Atrabiliarios (Defiant, Bitterness), Untitled, La Casa Viuda
(The Widow House or The Widowed House) and Plegaria Muda (Silent Prayer or Silenced Prayer). These installations have been related to critics dealing with tropes, semiotics and anthropomorphism. Most critics relate their interpretations to literature, sometimes poetry, and the poet Paul Celan has been inserted as a subordinate subject matter. Human suffering turned into reminiscence of the individual victim are conspicuous themes in Salcedo’s artistry as well as in Celan’s poetry.
 A concise overview of the four installations as a whole, and a more detailed presentation of the artefacts have been related to tropes of allegory, metaphor and metonymy, as well as to semiotics, and more briefly to phenomenology. The human trace, or non-trace, have further been related to the absent victim and to those left behind in grief, including some Celan stanzas in their context. The trace indicating embodiment and the void in the installations and artworks have then as far as possible been related to the aesthetics of anthropomorphism. The notion of presence in absence turns obvious in the artworks as a whole, as well as in Celan’s poetry. This presence in absence - or absence in presence - have finally most concisely been related to metaphysics and surrealist points of view in order to find a way to relate the void to the aesthetics of anthropomorphism; a short discussion ending up in more of a starting point than of a conclusion.},
  author       = {Streiffert, Christina},
  keyword      = {anthropomorphism,embodiment,human trace,metaphysics,semiotics,tropes,violence,void},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Memorials of Suffering - The human trace in artefacts by Doris Salcedo},
  year         = {2012},
}