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Whose body? Nicholas and Sheila Pye's 'The Coronation'

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dc.contributor.author Lawrence, Toby Katrine
dc.date.accessioned 2012-10-02T16:31:45Z
dc.date.available 2012-10-02T16:31:45Z
dc.date.copyright 2012 en_US
dc.date.issued 2012-10-02
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2429/43317
dc.description.abstract In 2008, Canadian artists Nicholas and Sheila Pye travelled from Toronto, Ontario to Graz, Austria for a six-month artist residency. Working within the Austrian landscape and drawing from an influence of Northern European Medieval and Renaissance art the Pyes produced The Coronation, a twelve-minute, three-channel video installation enmeshed with art historical references. Their deliberate appropriation of the triptych format and the Adam and Eve imagery of the fifteenth-century Ghent Altarpiece by Jan van Eyck place the Edenic narrative of the side panels in The Coronation in conversation with the shifting seasons and ecological processes in the centre panel, providing numerous entry points for contemplation. While this video installation suggests an exploration of the iconographic body, it is also indicative of the Pyes’ complication of the notion of the autonomous human body, its engagement with the environment and, furthermore, an emphasis on the instability of identity. Previous writing on the collaborative practice of the Pyes has taken the form of exhibition reviews and curatorial essays, concentrating on a sustained narrative that prioritizes the Pyes’ relationship. Shifting away from the specificities of a biographical framework, my research focuses on The Coronation’s attention to the interrelationality of life. Furthermore, the Pyes push their artistic practice beyond one that assumes the specificity and autonomy of an individual human body, reconstituted in the intersecting body and earth. This informs our understanding of corporeal signification as comprised of embodied social and ideological performativity. Framed by a broad ecological lens and with Judith Butler’s notion of performativity in mind, I demonstrate the capacity of the Pyes’ work to problematize the stability of physical and enunciated boundaries that demarcate the human body. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher University of British Columbia en
dc.title Whose body? Nicholas and Sheila Pye's 'The Coronation' en_US
dc.type Electronic Thesis or Dissertation en
dc.degree.name Master of Arts - MA en_US
dc.degree.discipline Art History en_US
dc.degree.grantor University of British Columbia en
dc.date.graduation 2012-11 en_US
dc.degree.campus UBCV en_US
dc.description.scholarlevel Graduate en


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