29 SES 08, Researching and teaching drawing in Higher Arts Education
In the last two decades, the expression “artistic project” has been gradually replacing the notion of “art work”, thereby creating a relative indistinction between working drawings (desenho de projeto) and drawing project (Projeto de desenho) within fine arts.
Made not to be seen, the exhibition of working drawings as art works creates some misconceptions about their main purpose, which becomes expendable after the work is concluded. At the same time, when they are staged, these drawings make visible the ‘before’ and the ‘outside’ that shapes fine arts, changing the frames of intelligibility that sustain it.
This papers addresses the questions raised by the analysis of working drawings in the student’s training in fine art programs. In their multiple categories and roles, these drawings are part of the conceptual and heuristic process that leads to the construction of images, making visible the trajectory between the idea and its materialization. The unfolding of these drawings provoked by their staging in exhibitions allows us to retrace the path of thinking in an inverse way, to equate deviations and to review the foundations that led to the process of decision making in each moment, emphasizing persistence and process over linearity and outcome. At the same time, by occupying a space of visibility that they actually do not have, these drawings became a form of resistance against the role of the artist as a mere image editor. They are also, therefore, a way for reconsidering the project’s ontology within fine arts’ practice, as well as the singularity of the way we can teach it. Drawings are the connective mode art uses to express unrealized action - either because they are dependent on unverified conditions, or because it is an improbable or impossible hypothesis. While drawing, students create a virtual space of freedom where they can risk without the commitment of a final and irreversible decision. It is argued that drawing as a tool in fine art project — due to the diverse nature of its means and ends — should be a casuistic process, built on a reciprocal relationship between the work that is being conceived and the process that is invented or mobilized for the occasion. The paper also addresses the paradoxes that arise from an exhibition of drawings that were made not to be seen and how these drawings, when showed, can redefine the learning models in fine arts.
In the last three years we have been developing an action research approach regarding the way drawing as an ideational tool is tough within a fine art curriculum. Our main focus was based on a casuistic understanding of project methodology, questioning how differences between students from different programs – painting, sculpture and multimedia – can help us shape a more self-reflexive and participatory experience of the curriculum. Our research was defined in three levels of analysis: How drawing can enhance the creative thinking; how drawing can block the ideation process; what differences exist between teaching drawing-as-project in a fine art program and in other programs. Our working proposals followed the RSVP cycle – a creative methodology developed by Lawerence Halprin and Anna Halprin to work in collective situations, using a situation-based process regarding four fields of intervention within the project: resources, score, valuation and performance.
The association between drawing and project methodology in the field of fine arts is a recent historical construction, and accompanies the contaminations between art, design and architecture. The emergence of the notion of working drawing / drawing project in the artistic field is confronted with its own ahistoricity, an autonomy determined by all other technologies of representation with which drawing shares a time and a space. From both points of view - drawing-as-project or as project-of-drawing, as a verb and as a noun - drawing is a recursive concept that changes its meaning if considered in relation to video, writing, painting, sculpture or theatrical performance. In this context — whose roots lie in the dematerialization of the artistic object and in the skill-deskilling dialectic — the working drawings assume several variants and stages of visibility: as a medium of ideation and execution, which include technical drawings for execution, notations of movement and narrative plans; but also reflect the appropriation of project methodologies to formulate personal geographies, real or fictitious, seeking thereby to circumvent the impossibility of doing or the fear of failing. The awareness that drawing can be used as a transition process between states of a project is an acquired and internalized consciousness, as a draughtsman’s habitus. In practice, it implies the predisposition to think and act in certain ways in situations that require a casuistic response in weakly structured environments.
Bochner, Mel. (2015). Working Drawings and Other Visible Things on Paper Not Necessarily Meant to be Viewed as Art. In Julliard, J. E. (ed.). Vers le Visible – Exposer le dessin contemporain 1964-1980. Paris: Roven. Bono, Edward. (1986). El Pensamiento lateral. Manual de Creatividad. Barcelona: Paidós Plural. Carneiro, Alberto. (1994). Campo sujeito e representação no ensino e na prática do Desenho/Projecto. Porto: Faup. Cocker, Emma. (2012). The Restless Line, Drawing. In Sawdon, P.; Marshall, R. (Ed.) Hyperdrawing. Beyond the Lines of Contemporary Art. Londres/Nova Iorque: I.B. & Tauris. Deleuze, Gilles. (2007). Francis Bacon: Lógica da Sensação. Rio de Janeiro: Zahar. Goldschmidt, Gabriela. (1997). Capturing indeterminism: representation in the design problem space. Design Studies. 18(4), pp.441-445. Krčma, Ed. (2010). Cinematic Drawing in a Digital Age. Tate Papers, no.14, Autumn 2010, disponível em http://www.tate.org.uk/research/publications/tate-papers/14/cinematic-drawing-in-a-digital-age, acedido a 17 de maio de 2018. Leeb, Suzanne. (2018). A line with variable direction, which traces no contour, and delimits no form. In Gansterer; Nikolaus (ed.). Drawing a Hypothesis – Figures fo Thouhgt. Wein/New York: Springer. Molder, Maria Filomena (1999). Matérias Sensíveis. Lisboa: Relógio d’Água. Newman, Michael. (2003). The Marks, Traces, and Gestures of Drawing. In Zegher, Catherine. (ed.). The Stage of Drawing: Gesture and Act. London/New York: Tate/ Drawing Center. Petherbridge, Deanna. (2008). Nailing the Liminal: The Difficulties of Defining Drawing. In Garner, S. (Ed.). Writing on Drawing. Bristol and Chicago: Intellect. Pigrum, Derek. (2010). Drawing, Dasein and the ‘Ready-to-Hand. In Studies in Material Thinking. Vol. 4, September 2010, disponível em https://www.materialthinking.org/papers/11, acedido a 17 de maio de 2018.
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