Media @ McGill

Lotfi Gouigah: Time-based artistic media and the redefinitions of difference

Submitted by Media@McGill on


My doctoral project seeks to address the gap between ontological and interpretative considerations of artistic time-based media in order to better explore the role of time and motion in the communication of marginal subjectivities and difference. I will envisage this process of mediation as two-fold. First, as an embodied, affective, and sometimes visceral, interaction occurring in duration, and second, borrowing from Jacques Derrida’s critique of the metaphysics of presence, I will address the perception of difference as temporally relational or, in other words, contingent upon previous perception of norms as retained in memory or in material inscription. I will thus consider the context and parameters governing the spectatorship of its objects of study as the site where subjectivities are negotiated and where consensus and the delineation of marginality are disputed and can be potentially redrawn.

I will do so with the intention of going beyond simply articulating alternate post-colonial, feminist or queer interpretation to media-based work. Instead I will thrive to combine an inquiry into time-based artistic practices (performance and video-art), their temporal manifestations (live experiences), their inscription into matter (documentation and preservation through media), and the embodied forms of spectatorship they elicit, with an exploration of issues of postcolonial and queer relationalities.

Among the works I will be focusing on will be Rebecca Belmore’s Fountain video (2005), and American artist David Wojnarowicz’s A fire in my belly (1986-87) as well as on the 1994 performance by American artist Ron Athey’s intitled Four Scenes in a Harsh Life.