A journey to nowhere - Theatricality as a tool to reach beyond theatre

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
Ask about the availability of the thesis by sending email to the Aalto University Learning Centre oppimiskeskus@aalto.fi
Degree programme
“A Journey to Nowhere” is an exploration and an inner journey to the “Art Garden in the Middle of Nowhere” created by Latvian artist Arturs Rinķis. This journey lasted almost three years and resulted in a variety of artistic forms including photographs, video, texts and animation presented at the Latvian Design and Art Museum in Riga from February 21 – April 10 2016. The eclectic nature of this work comes from the performative aspect of its realisation and story that develops between the author of this work and Arturs Rinķis himself. Thus the aim of this thesis is to give an insight into the process of artistic creation and question the themes that emerged during the same process. Among the most important questions within this work were how to deal with the theatrical, fictional aspect of Arturs and his Art Garden - how to reach beyond the fictional world he has created within, and how could I, as another artist, reveal and investigate this phenomenon using my own artistic means? This Master’s thesis consists of three chapters that aim to reveal the issues mentioned above. The first chapter is dedicated to the subject of the work - Arturs himself and “The Art Garden in the Middle of Nowhere”. It reflects on the background of Arturs’ work and his place within the history of Latvian art. The notion of Other and otherness forms the theoretical framework of this part, which serves as a back-ground of the methodology developed through our interaction. The aim of the methodology is to present the relationship with Arturs as the only possible way to contemplate what happens within the Art Garden. From the relational aspect of this work, the acts of performance and play come to the foreground and lead to the second part of this Master’s thesis, which is dedicated to the issues of theatricality. This discussion aims to respond to the applied methodology. As a key text, I chose to use Michel Fried’s “Why photography matters as art as never before” and some key concepts on performative photography. The third chapter is an analysis of specific works produced for the exhibition as well as dis-cussing the exposition within the Museum. Finally, by raising the question of how to incorporate theatricality within the practice of documentary, this text aims to provide a valuable source of reflections and new methodology for other practitioners in the field. I believe that my approach opens up new perspectives on issues of documentary photography and how to integrate it in relation to other mediums of art.
Parantainen, Jyrki
Thesis advisor
Sīmanis, Dāvis
theatricality, the other, performativity, autofiction
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