26 Aralık 2011 Pazartesi

notes on ...based artist and standpoint epistemologies

while in social sciences it is considered vital to acknowledge the situatedness of knowledge (see Haraway, Rose) in the field of art the issue of situating, contextualising  the artist is a bit tricky issue. if you are woman, you are directly be considered as woman artist and your work in one way or another referring, nurturing from the issues related to it. you cannot escape it, if you attempt to avoid it you could be considered as apolitical. if you are german, palestinian, egyptian, indian it should be acknowledged. you cannot just be an artist. there must be some adjectives to define you, your practice is not enough, what you underline in your practice is not enough.
Felix Gonzales Torres, confronted with the question of the influential geneaologies, the question to position himself tells that I am something in the morning, something else in the afternoon...(reference here).
the problem is situating the speaking subject can be limiting, we need to take a heed of our criteria. we have a bunch of useless one we keep on applying to anyone. Torres also suggest that his  next work will be a caracas.
i know it is hard to shed one`s presuppositions, cliches, stereotypical images of one another, as they provide short-cuts, and thus  ease to our already too complicated lives. but we need to grow guts, it seems.
the basic  reason behind the need for `standpoint epistemology`, as Norman Denzin formulates, is the belief that  `the world of human experience must be studied from the point of view of the historically and culturally situated individual`(1997, p.87). these standpoint epistemologies introduced into ethnography as a possible solution for the representational crisis the discipline was facing. to acknowledge the limitidness of the researcher, which becomes limiting.
Torres has something else to add onto this; he says he is influenced by Marquez, Borges as well as Freud, Althusser etc. Then how can categories of gender, race, nation, ethnic identity be enough to set the scene? Or in another level, we can follow the doubt Gillian Rose cast on the possibility of knowing totally one`s place, position, to what extent can one pin oneself down, can one know oneself, the pulls and pushs that is played on oneself? and how could you know what i mean by gender or what? the reader as well as the writer is situated. stating my position will work with the reception by the reader. and my statement can blind the audience with his-her idea of that statement. i cannot be undone and become possibility for a fresh, new encounter. now my limits are set, my possibilities drawn.
the violence of knowledge.
maybe we should drop all the claims towards knowing, representing. at the end at an encounter the conclusion is always postponed, the meaning created retrospectively. maybe we should just stay there, at the encounter, where possibilities are (could be) still vast and wild.

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