The Paper Club: A Blank Slate and an Open Invitation

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

Abstract

As a child I was always told not to draw on tables, walls, or any other surface that would have made a perfectly good canvas. Making marks with a crayon, pen, pencil, or even food comes very naturally from a young age – a desire that can always be tapped into under the right circumstances. It is not surprising that our ancestors were painting the inside of caves from an early period. Paleontological findings from the caves at Chauvet dating from some 32,000 years ago can be interpreted to suggest an important shift in mankind’s organisation: from existing as beings preoccupied with everyday tasks as a means of survival, to becoming ones distinguished by individualisation and reflection. Philosopher Maria José Mondzain, in her publication Homo Spectator, makes a connection between early inscriptions and the birth of spectatorship. By blowing pigment held in the mouth onto the hand extended at arm’s length a hand print is made. It is not surprising that our ancestors were painting the inside of caves from an early period. Mondzain argues the moment the hand is withdrawn is key in locating thought and gesture outside of the self.
Original languageEnglish
No.214
Specialist publicationPlanet
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Participation
  • Relational Aesthetics
  • Spectatorship
  • drawing

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