This project aims at foregrounding the multidisciplinary concept of figure in the context of the current debates within the field of visual studies. Our main purpose is to restore the concept’s interdisciplinary potential, to endow the figure with new spatial and progressive dimensions deriving from the thorough consideration of today’s artistic practices, and to add to a better understanding of the factors behind the concept’s ability to travel between disciplines. Our investigation will emphasize the variety of reflective strategies and analytical tools produced in the process, while at the same time opening new lines of enquiry for visual analysis.
With regard to methodological innovations, the project seeks to expand the domain of the figure beyond rhetoric, poetics, art history and aesthetics, so as to encompass visual anthropology, performative arts, artistic and public spaces and hence contribute to the dynamization of interpretative discourse by means of studying image and language as complex forms of human experience, instead of analyzing them in terms of their structural organization, as they have been studied thus far.
We live in a world of signs and visual culture where the ways in which information is conveyed become strategies employed for a complex figuration of meaning. Hence the central questions addressed by this project: what forms of knowledge are emitted by this new economy of the figure? What type of cultural and intellectual history does it propose?
The research project “Figura – Body, Art, Space, Language” is supported by a grant from the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research and Innovation, CNCS-UEFISCDI, project number PN-II-RU-TE-2014-4-0787, contract number 51/2015, currently underway at Center of Excellence in Image Studies (CESI), University of Bucharest (01.10.2015 – 30.09.2017).