I unexpectedly had an ecstatic experience in front of contemporary, abstract, "empty" paintings. As someone with a (refused) Catholic education, as well as both an artistic and a meditative practice, this moment raised many questions. Could the Void be interpreted as an embodied experience? How does Art tackle an un-representable subject? As an artist, how does this affect and contextualise my own work? How can we find secular solace in a times of crisis and quick changes? Here, I shall attempt to blend an analysis of my experience, my practice, and that of artists that can be said to represent "emptiness", or "nothing". I lay out an over-arching theory of the sacrifice of surfaces, and the threefold pathway it suggests (artist-artwork-beholder). I then proceed to suggest sub-methods to represent the Void, namely obliteration through accumulation (repeated gestures or images); and negative or apophatic materials (which play with defining something through negative descriptions).
I also make a final caveat into the interval, the space in-between the parties of the surface sacrifice, in-between the repeated elements, what is not there in the negative descriptions. These prove to be zones that invite those who encounter them to open themselves, revealing a sense of presence and grace.
If you want to cite this thesis in your own thesis, paper, or report, use this format (APA):
Gil Ulldemolins, M. (2017). Feeling the void.
Unpublished thesis, Hogeschool PXL, PXL-MAD.