Multiple images and the construction of meaning : a study of multiple-image artworks, with reference to Daina Mabunda’s Twenty rings, Angela Buckland’s block A Jacobs men’s hostel and Ernestine White’s memory wall.
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This dissertation explores the significance of multiple-image artworks, in which a number of discrete images are presented to the viewer together as a single work. Daina Mabunda’s Twenty rings, Angela Buckland’s Block A Jacobs mens’ hostel, Ernestine White’s Memory wall and the candidate’s own work are explored as examples of this type of artwork. The concept of fragmentation in visual art (particularly as a feature of modernism) is looked at, including the development of installation art. Theory relating to installation art is explored, particularly the ideas put forward by Claire Bishop in Installation art and Graham Coulter-Smith in Deconstructing installation art. Bishop’s work on the role of the viewer in relation to the installation, particularly her concept of activation, is looked at. Coulter-Smith’s response to Bishop’s ideas and his work on deconstructive art as nonlinear narrative are examined. Concepts from literary theory dealing with fragmentation, and the role of the reader are also dealt with. Literary theory (particularly work by Bakhtin, Derrida, Kristeva and Barthes) provides different ways of responding to some of the questions at the heart of this research, namely: what constitutes reader/viewer engagement, what facilitates this type of engagement, and what is the significance of this type of engagement?