2007 – 2013
This doctoral thesis takes my own artistic practice as a starting point. As of 2002 I have exchanged my status of performance artist for that of sculptor. In my practice, I engage irony as a means of auto-creation. To my mind, art is primarily a matter of finding a certain degree of personal freedom. In my work, I wish to bring certain matters up for discussion in an organic, plastic, non-narrative way. These matters include the position and autonomy of art, the artist and the individual, and the meaning and position of sculpture. For the theoretical component of this thesis I will study Richard Rorty’s theory, and examine to what extent it can be used as a theoretical framework in the inquiry into auto-creation in my own work. Moreover, I will start from the oeuvres of Donald Judd, Andre Cadere and René Heyvaert to examine to what extent Rorty’s theory of the ‘ironic’ is applicable to these artists. Is it possible for me to develop, from Rorty’s theory and these case-studies, a lexicon and a terminology to speak more clearly about my own work, and to position it more precisely in the field of the arts in general? To accomplish this I will mainly conduct a research of sculptures. This will result in sculptural workshop research using models and sculptures. A number of models will be realized on architectonic scales on location. The workshop research and location work will be documented in a photographic essay. The inquiry into Rorty’s theory, the research in artistic practice and the findings relevant for my own work, will be embodied in a written text.