Relational provisionality : drawing as spatio-temporal critique

27 May 2009

This article consists of two parts: the first looks back and the second moves sideways. In the first part, the author considers the background for her current research focus on contemporary drawing. In the second part, she posits Henri Lefebvre “relational space” and Martin Heidegger’s notion of the “provisional” as key ideas with which to understand contemporary drawing in propadeutic and anticipatory mode. Four registers of contemporary drawing are discussed, each time with a backward glance at antecedents. The four registers are: 1) touch, closeness and remembrance; 2) travel, sequence and pause; 3) map, vector and syncope; and 4) pentimento, shadow and chorus. Key works by contemporary drawing artists are presented as examplars of these four registers through which the critical politics of “relational provisionality” are played out in space and time.