Starting from below: Phenomenological Interventions in Art History and Visual Culture

Andrews, Jorella G.. 2018. 'Starting from below: Phenomenological Interventions in Art History and Visual Culture'. In: Using Phenomenology in Contemporary Arts Research and Pedagogy. LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore 24 September 2018. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

“We will come to these questions by starting ‘from below’.” (Maurice Merleau-Ponty)

“It is at the same time true that the world is what we see and that, nonetheless, we must learn to see it” (Maurice Merleau-Ponty)

Despite close interactions between phenomenology and the visual arts (particularly with the emergence of ‘minimalism’ during the mid-20th century and with today’s interests in visual and material culture) no coherently assembled phenomenologically-based methodological resources exist that are aimed at arts researchers. This presentation argues for the importance of developing such resources and sets out their key features and scope.

‘Starting from below’ – a quote from the French phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty – refers to phenomenology’s valorisation of traditionally-disregarded non-dualistic, embodied, pre-reflexive, perceptual, and idiosyncratic (or ‘ideographic’) forms of investigation.

A current phenomenologically-based research project is also discussed in which my interactions with Kim Jongku's installation Mobile Landscape, 2009 and with a Korean ink drawing, Landscape with Gentlemen Visiting a Scholar in a Lakeside Pavilion (thought to be from the Chosŏn dynasty, first half of the 17th century), play a formative role.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)


phenomenology, pedagogy, research methods

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures


24 September 2018Accepted

Event Location:

LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore

Date range:

24 September 2018

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

09 Jan 2019 11:41

Last Modified:

27 Oct 2019 00:57


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