Exposing Society: Contemporary Drawing as History Writing

By Leoni Schmidt.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Interarts contemporary drawing practices 'write' political histories to expose society. Temporality, spatiality, deferral and corporeality form parameters for critiques of scopic regimes and for the "playacting" of particular traumas.

Keywords: Contemporary Drawing, Key Trajectories and Parameters, Temporality, Spatiality, Deferral, Corporeality, Politically Located Drawing Practices, Drawing Exposing Society, Drawing as Indignant Practice, Drawing as Critique of Scopic Regimes, Drawing as "Playacting" of Trauma, Drawing Projects: Six Case Studies

The International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp.31-48. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 5.333MB).

Prof. Leoni Schmidt

Being involved in two countries (New Zealand and South Africa), she is interested in experiences of travel, migration and exile; and her conference papers, journal articles, catalogue essays and curated exhibitions explore a range of situated contemporary practices in terms of their materialities and processes; their theoretical frameworks; and their historical locatedness. Her work positions itself on a research platform involving interdisciplinarity; the politics of location; and poststructuralist theory. In accord with these engagements and as a critique of pre-Māori Renaissance-era arts enquiries (in New Zealand) and apartheid-era arts enquiries (in South Africa), she distances herself from formalist approaches to arts practices and argues that all migratory arts practices – in the literal or figurative sense – are politically charged acts resulting in effects of a political and thus social nature.

Working at Otago Polytechnic School of Art in Dunedin, New Zealand, Leoni functions in a milieu modelled on the conservatorium in the sense that media-specific teaching units are maintained with a strong base of material exploration and processual investigation. However, these units also work across and inter- media in their fruitful connection around ideas and histories, both personal and political. In this context, drawing plays across an expanded field and can become a refuge, a home, or a liberation for artists who sometimes still find themselves dominated by disciplinary boundaries. Outside of this immediate milieu, Leoni’s research also involves the work of a range of international artists whose work finds a creative nexus within the multifarious practices of contemporary drawing. She is especially interested in how this plays out in practice and in the theoretical and historical frameworks of drawing as a ludic, performative activity.


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