Alfie Sheppard



Dissertation -

Title: Potency of Space - Embodied Perception Through Installation Art


Implicit in this dissertation is the philosophical notion that installation art brings about a coalition of the body and space through sensorial immersion. Installation Art invites us to break away from preconceptions of visual art and creates a synthesis between ideas, artists, objects and materials. What the potency of space implies is possibility, activity and dynamism, potency being the strength of something but also the capacity to achieve or bring about a particular change through infiltration.

I have reflected on changes that brought about installation art. I describe pieces of work that I have had first hand experience of by Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller, Roger Hiorn, Louise Bourgeois and Cildo Meireles and consider them in the context of the multi-sensory experience. Central to my discourse is the idea of the viewer of art becoming a participant.

To support my critique of immersion, embodiment and subjectivity I reference statements by other artists – Ilya Kabakov, Robert Irwin, Sol LeWitt, El Lizzitsky. The writings of Georges Perec and J.G. Ballard informed my thinking about space and language and the philosophical musings of Maurice Merleau-Ponty led me to contemplate perception.