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Just painting. Performative painting as visual discourse

Carless, Tonia


Tonia Carless
Senior Lecturer in Architecture


Igea Troiani

Suzanne Ewing


This chapter considers the possibilities of using performative painting as a form of visual and spatial architectural research, where the act of painting is part of the research itself. The paintings are of specific sites and sights that are localised and provincial but which hold the potential to develop new knowledge of the wider conception of the space of globalisation. The paintings are made on site (en plein-air) as part of a collaborative paint-in and an activist visual research analysis. These research paintings are considered as counter to the proliferation and ephemeral nature of digital representations.
The research project looks at the problems of developing spatial, cultural, historical analysis and has utopian ambition to challenge the dominant ideologies of spatial reconfiguration. Through the development of the archive of paintings and the engagement within the real space of the site the research also seeks to extend a wider discourse beyond the frame of architectural and fine art disciplines to embrace a public discourse.


Carless, T. (2021). Just painting. Performative painting as visual discourse. In I. Troiani, & S. Ewing (Eds.), Visual Research Methods in Architecture. Bristol: Intellect

Acceptance Date Jan 1, 2018
Online Publication Date Aug 30, 2021
Publication Date Aug 30, 2021
Deposit Date Mar 5, 2018
Publisher Intellect
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Book Title Visual Research Methods in Architecture
ISBN 9781789381863
Keywords archive, discursive painting, en plein-air, paint-in, performative painting
spatial analysis
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