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Från Roslin till Bernstrup. Identitet, kropp och kostym ur ett multisensoriskt perspektiv.

Chapter in book
Authors Viveka Kjellmer
Published in Gränslöst. 1700-tal speglat i nuet / Unbounded. The Eighteenth Century Mirrored by the Present. Redaktör/Editor Kristoffer Arvidsson
Pages 150-187
ISBN 978-91-87968-96-9
ISSN 2001-872X
Publisher Göteborgs Konstmuseum/Gothenburg Museum of Art
Place of publication Göteborg
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Cultural Sciences
Pages 150-187
Language sv
Links goteborg.se/wps/wcm/connect/e754197...
Keywords identity, body, costume, Alexander Roslin, Tobias Bernstrup, multisensory
Subject categories Art History

Abstract

The point of departure for this study is the Eighteenth Century Gallery at the Gothenburg Museum of Art, where a self-portrait of Swedish artist Tobias Bernstrup (b. 1970) dressed in a red latex corset hangs among the dour eighteenth-century portraits. The juxtaposition is fascinating—an odd kinship emerges between Bernstrup’s Re-Animate Me (2002-05) and a portrait by another Swedish artist, Alexander Roslin’s (1718-93) Double Portrait of 1754. There is something about the stiff, corseted bodies, the white-powdered faces, and the artificial poses that creates a clear line of connection through time and space. The study aims to explore whether using haptic visuality and a multi-sensory perspective could give back to the object under observation something of its materiality in order to broaden the viewer’s experience of a picture to become a bodily experience rather than a merely visual one. Clothing’s effect on posture and figure, posing, and the perception of a body in space all come through with a visual analysis of these works and create a kind of echo in the physical body of the viewer. The author argues that a multisensory approach to viewing has contributed to give a new reading of an eighteenth-century portrait through one from our own time. A dialogue has been established between past and present that sheds light on how identity and gender expression are not fixed, but rather that we are governed by the taste, fashion, and conventions of the day in how we judge identity.

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