What is Performative Drawing? An Overview on Nancy and Kant’s Ideas Underlying Process Oriented Drawing Practices


Performative drawing is a contemporary art movement that seems to be gaining worldwide importance over the last decades. An increasing number of artists are focusing their practice-based research on this art trend that explores the intersection between performance and drawing in process oriented practices. However, very little theoretical research has been undertaken upon this topic. In a recent paper, Luzar (2017) has examined the ‘graphic trace’ as marks left from physical actions and evaluated whether they could be understood as a ‘visual expression of thought’ by linking them to Bergson’s notion of multiplicity. However, no studies have examined the implications of the ideas of Jean-Luc Nancy and Emmanuel Kant in relation to this art practice. The purpose of this paper is to shed some light on our understanding of performative drawing by using a multidisciplinary approach that combines an analysis of the ideas of these two philosophers and a critical revision of two key art works. The study aims to identify the general characteristics of such an art practice and some key philosophical concepts that underlie it. The results suggest that performative drawing should be regarded as an art practice in which the artist embodies a formative force that emulates the way in which nature creates, rather than copying an external reference. The findings of the study may provide artists, scholars, and curators with a deeper understanding to analyse this type of art practice.

Author Information
Madeleine Lohrum, Universidad de La Laguna, Spain

Paper Information
Conference: KAMC2020
Stream: Arts Practices

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon