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When the artist swallows his image

What does the way of depicting someone else say, or not say, about the creator, the maker?
When the artist swallows his image digs deeper into the seldom explored domain of embodied knowledge within the relationship between the maker and their image of someone else. This area of research is based on the most prominent trend that became apparent in Karel’s preceding research project The transparent body (2020-2022). Within a global visual culture, it strikes him how the body in an artistic image is often used by the maker as an information carrier, reduced to one characteristic. As an objectified subject that unambiguously symbolizes or represents an idea of the maker. The way that emerging theater, dance or visual makers - digital natives – depict someone else indicates an apparent inability for makers to allow their own true physicality to exist within their imagery. It seems that they almost ignore or forget their unique physicality as a maker when seeing/capturing someone else.

Karel Tuytschaever explores the role that the maker's physicality plays in creating a visual presentation of somebody else. This is actualized by mutually purifying his hybrid, artistic craftsmanship and making his teaching method, as an artist at the Antwerp Schools of Arts, explicitly discipline-wide. As a theater and film maker, he looks for new ways to sincerely capture bodies in a 2D image, using lens-based media and his body, as a maker, as equal instruments. In his teaching method, he links different artistic disciplines to physical awareness and emphasize how the unique physicality of makers in training can be an engine for their vision and skills development.

This symbiotic and self-reflective research creates an interesting intermediate field in which a relevant awareness for contemporary artistry arises, whereby the body forms the mediator between the world and an image. His methodology is based on the core values of his practice, and aims to identify crucial elements in an evolution towards a more integral and reciprocal embodied, artistic practice. A practice consisting of the different layers of sensory, embodied knowledge. This is necessary because our urge for identity in a digitized network society threatens to prevent us from productive involvement and empathy with one another. In this way, Karel Tuytschaever hopes to contribute to (the awareness of) a more physical, tactile imagery in the visual and performing arts, and thereby a more layered, multi-sensory viewing experience.

Promotors: Inge Henneman (Academy) and Annemie Leemans (UAntwerp)

Research groups: 
Body and Material Reinvented (Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp)
ViDi (University of Antwerp)
CORPoREAL (Royal Conservatoire Antwerp)