Mise en abyme de l’œuvre et perception esthétique

[The mise en abyme of the artwork and the aesthetic perception]

PhD Art and Sciences of Art – Panthéon-Sorbonne University (PARIS 1)

Date of award: 15-09-2003  |  Très Honorable, Félicitations du Jury (First Class Honours)

This research explored what underlay the process of the artistic creation by analyzing the mise en abyme and the aesthetic perception. The term “mise en abyme” was used for the first time by André Gide in Paludes to define a narration inside another narration with a retroaction of the subject on itself.

The thesis envisages the mise en abyme as a setting in scene of the aesthetic perception, which involves the viewer/reader in the process of the artistic creation of what he’s viewing-reading. Therefore this process enables the viewer to perceive simultaneously several spaces, several levels of time, several levels of reality… and creates an union between them.

My PhD thesis consists of three volumes and a short film:

1) I first examine the transgression of the frame by the painted image in Persian miniature, which has as a characteristic to put the viewer in front of the pictorial creation and what precedes it: the white page.

2) Then I study the improvisation in music, since this process enables us to attend a musical composition in real time. This part is where the relationship between space, time and art is questioned.

3) Finally, I enter Jaume Plensa’s sculptures with a camera: being inside the sculptures with a camera permitted to try out the perception of the work, and re-create it as it is experienced in the exhibition space. Video was appropriate to recreate and analyze the simultaneity of perception and movement inside the sculptures indeed.

This research is the attempt to transmute the specific non-discursive knowledge that Art and artistic processes contain into a philosophical analysis that articulates words and visual thought. The visual analysis was developed mainly through analogies: between words and images on one hand, and between different images on the other hand. The reader-viewer *travels* constantly from words to images and music, and from the analysis to created narratives. This is also to create simultaneity in his/her perception and this way submit an approach of the aesthetic perception that would address directly the reader-viewer’s mind and build on the gap between discursive and visual approaches.

Stills from the short “A propos de chaos-saliva” (Allegue, 2001): shot inside Jaume Plensa’s sculptures.

To watch excerpts, click HERE and HERE

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