1W8-3 What Strikes Me

3 11 2007


“What strikes me is the fact that in our society, art has become something which is only related to objects, and not to individuals, or to life.”
Michel Foucault

There are two main concepts that led me to his work. His early writings talk about what is…the power relations that take place within all relatioships, but later on in his life, he talked about how to change this…that it was through the transformation of the self.

He said it is “about the development of an art of existence that revolves around the question of self, of its dependence and independence, of its universal form and of the connection it can and should establish with others, of a way in which it can establish a complete supremacy over itself (239, Care of the Self).”

He stressed the care of the self which he defined as a ‘social practice.’ It is not only done in solitude but in and amongst a community.

But his studies were a journey in itself. He questioned the power strategies that all people within relatioships experience, but in the end, he also talked of a way out.

This main idea is what I hope to translate into my work. This transformation from negotiations of power, to perhaps an evolution of the self. The work relates to power, a power that is exerted upon others and by others, but which we can turn towards ourselves. He defines it as such:

“Power is a force acting upon the body, through a series of relations, relays, modes of connections. It is transmitted, it cannot be possessed because it is constantly in play, acting upon individuals whoa are its conduits, its subjects.”

(1993, Michel Foucault:Subversions of the Subject, Philip Barker ed.)




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