Visual Discourse as Interface: Artopology


    Just like – paraphrasing Harald Szeemann’s famous remark – “attitudes can become form” (“When Attitudes Become Form”), contexts can also be part of the same visual paradigm.
     
    In “Artopologia” (Artopology), we have aimed at a sort of transfer in the very first place: from the artistic context to that of research, by turning the exhibition venue into a real anthropology lab, “Laboratorium”: the team of antropologists at the “Francisc J. Rainer” Center for Anthropological Research of the Romanian Academy was lead by Dr. Cornelia Guja, Călin Dolcoș and Lăcrămioara Mureșan and had
    “Bioenergetic halo of bodies” as a theme for research and presentation.
     
    The visual discourse was present as an interface. The conversion of information of a different nature into visual information as well as the visualizing of the halo of bodies by the researchers at the Anthropological Institute involved highlighting this individual pattern.
     
    The subtle corporeality of thin matter or “being of light” appeals to the entire iconographic tradition, to Bizantine and Medieval art, to Pre-Renaissance, to Far East representations.
    The halo, described by Bachelard as “the spirit becoming ever more conscious about its light”, makes a second vision possible and is manifested as an anthropological pattern.
     
    “The moment is not far when, by using brain bio-currents, we will be able to control computers by thought. All of this is possible since the electric phenomenon, to which we owe the human body halo, is a part of the essence of the matter, both the living and the dead one. The next step is but obvious: the connection between our body’s electric phenomena and the unsubstantial aspects of human lives: emotional experience, consciousness, cultural phenomena” (Cornelia Guja).
     
    Anthropological comments on the images of the human body halo, in the framework of the exhibition, can be read as meta-discourses, whereas intertextuality can be seen as a net where both visual and text-related contexts converge.
     
    The visual discourse of the halo, aura, nimbus, with multiple points of view to be considered (anthropological, artistic, informational, physical, communicational, topological, mystical), also stands for a commentary on a visual auto-representation.


    2META, Bucharest, 2001