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Cultivating Perception: Phenomenological Encounters with Artworks
Signs (2015)
  • Helen A Fielding, The University of Western Ontario
Phenomenally strong artworks have the potential to anchor us in the world and to cultivate our perception. For the most part, we barely notice the world around us, as we are too often elsewhere, texting, coordinating schedules, planning ahead, navigating what needs to be done. This is the level of our age that shapes the ways we encounter the world and others. In such a world it is no wonder we no longer trust our senses. But as feminists have long argued, grounding our thinking in embodied experience opens it up to difference and helps us to resist the colonization of a singular, only seemingly neutral, perspective that closes down living potentialities. I show how a phenomenological approach that draws on embodied perception has much to offer feminist engagements with art, and that artworks that rely on embodied encounters lend themselves to a feminist phenomenological approach. Brian Jungen’s artwork, People’s Flag (2006), is one such work.
  • phenomenology,
  • art,
  • Jungen,
  • People's Flag,
  • Merleau-Ponty
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Citation Information
Helen A Fielding. "Cultivating Perception: Phenomenological Encounters with Artworks" Signs Vol. 40 Iss. 2 (2015)
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