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This seat in front of the window: thinking age through Louise Bourgeois's works on paper

By Catherine Burge


Publication ISBN 1 860502 09 1. This output relates to Burge’s art-historical research on French-American sculptor Louise Bourgeois. Burge’s research rationale is to voice narratives other than the dominant psycho-biographical and psycho-analytical approaches to Bourgeois’s work. These dominant approaches foreground the relationship between the sculptured objects and Bourgeois’s, or our, emotional states and psychic structures. In contrast, Burge’s research draws on her experience as a sculptor to re-engage with Bourgeois’s objects and their conversation with modern and post-modern sculptural debates. This output was part of a conference held at The University of Lincoln, part of the Lincoln School of Art and Design’s Drawing Research group’s exploration of the theory and practice of drawing; an ongoing internationally networked research lab, with forthcoming events and a future conference planned (Summer 2008). The cited output specifically addressed the question of Louise Bourgeois’s age in relationship to her drawing and is the first of a series of outputs which will complete this research project. This is an unspoken subject, as our artists are ageing in a new way (Bourgeois 95, Caro 82), arts histories have failed to theorize the changes in subjectivity which affects their work; remaining stuck between the Victorian ‘Alterstil’ (Late-style) and a post-Freudian, child-centred conception of mind. (The relevance of this output is revealed by the timing of the AHRC’s 2007 call for interdisciplinary networks into ageing and TATE’s Bourgeois Retrospective 2007). The research strategy was to use contemporary philosophy to address the different subjectivity of the ageing artist and offer the beginnings of a new interpretation of Bourgeois’s recent drawings as a voice of her current moment and being. This paper has led to the invitation to be an editor for the peer-reviewed online drawing journal TRACEY, for whom Burge peer-reviews both textual and drawn submissions

Topics: W100 Fine Art
Publisher: The Drawing Board
Year: 2007
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