The Perfect Spectator: The Experience of the Artwork and the Topicality of Reception Aesthetics
The key questions posed in this dissertation centre on the interaction between spectator and artwork. What happens between a spectator and an artwork? How do we experience ‘meaning’ in an artwork? How may the process of interpretation be understood and articulated?
- Janneke Wesseling
- 10 September 2013
- Full text available in Leiden Repository
The research is focused on unraveling and problematising the reception-aesthetical terminology of the interaction between artwork and spectator. The dissertation proposes a new set of theoretical concepts to understand the interaction between artwork and spectator.
The research is based on an art critical practice of many years and on the personal experience of artworks. The argumentation takes place at the intersection of reception aesthetics, art evaluation and art criticism and is illustrated by many examples from both the history of art and contemporary art. It is directed towards a variety of readers who wish to know more about the workings of the artwork, but it is also intended for artists, critics, other art professionals and students of art, philosophy and history. The aim is to offer a way to look at art in order to enrich one’s experience of it.
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Janneke Wesseling (1955) is an author, art historian and specialist in the field of artistic research. She obtained her PhD in reception aesthetics from Leiden University. She writes as an art critic for NRC Handelsblad and published several studies on contemporary art, such as ‘See it Again, Say it Again: The Artist as Researcher’. Wesseling is Associate Professor at the University of the Arts The Hague and co-director of PhDArts, the PhD programme for artists and designers at Leiden University.
Author: Janneke Wesseling
Design: Sam de Groot
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