A colouring revolution? A Deluezian encounter with Katharina Grosse's abstract landscapes of sensation

Authors: Eugenia Carlota De La Herran Iriarte*, UNSW Canberra ADFA
Topics: Cultural Geography
Keywords: Materiality, Landscape, Art, Non-representational Theory, Deleuze
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 5:00 PM / 6:40 PM
Room: Virginia A, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Seeking to exceed the representational constraints that continue to constrain geographical thought, creative research practices within cultural geography have become increasingly popular (Dowling et al., 2018). In enacting such creative engagements, geographers have shifted their empirical attention towards diverse forms of art and have also endorsed more creative styles of academic writing in order to explore key theoretical concerns. Despite re-energising geographical ways of thinking, I argue that the creative potential of some of these research endeavours remains restricted by their reductive, anthropocentric significations. This paper seeks to contribute to, but also to advance these geographical debates through an experimental empirical engagement with the artworks of Katharina Grosse. By amplifying intensities of colour, Grosse’s artworks disrupt our conventional ways of experiencing sensation in ways that exceed subjective perceptions. In this paper, I will stage a dialogue between Deleuze’s aesthetic ontology and Grosse’s abstract landscapes of sensation as a way of thinking colour in its materiality. In doing so, I will use Deleuze’s concepts to draw out three ‘revolutionary’ aspects of Grosse’s artworks: 1) as a pre-individual encounter, 2) as a haptic space, 3) as micropolitical resistance. Working through these three Deleuzian moments, I attempt to unpack the micropolitical implications of Grosse’s visual practices, in particular the kinds of molecular revolutions that might be engendered through a broader engagement with the materiality of colour itself.

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