Key Words and Terms
Abstract art is art that does not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of a visual reality but instead use shapes, colours, forms and gestural marks to achieve its effect.
Actuality is when the lighthouse is dark between flashes: it is the instant between the ticks of the watch: it is a void interval slipping forever through time: the rupture between past and future: the gap at the poles of the revolving magnetic field, infinitesimally small but ultimately real. It is the interchronic pause when nothing is happening. It is the void between events.….the instant of actuality is all we can ever know directly.
Kubler, George. The Shape of Time. Yale University Press. Kindle Edition.
Conceptual art is art for which the idea (or concept) behind the work is more important than the finished art object. It emerged as an art movement in the 1960s and the term usually refers to art made from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s.
The word ekphrasis, or ecphrasis, comes from the Greek for the written description of a work of art produced as a rhetorical exercise, often used in the adjectival form ekphrastic. It is a vivid, often dramatic, verbal description of a visual work of art, either real or imagined.
Archives typically house items that might be referred to as ‘ephemera’. This means items that were not intended to have a long life-span or to be preserved, and particularly refers to printed matter such as papers, letters, leaflets, etc. In the process of being ‘archived’ or stored by someone in order to preserve something for the future, these items undergo a change in status—something that was intended to be transient becomes permanent.
Minimalism is an extreme form of abstract art developed in the USA in the 1960s and typified by artworks composed of simple geometric shapes based on the square and the rectangle.
Postmodernism can be seen as a reaction against the ideas and values of modernism, as well as a description of the period that followed modernism’s dominance in cultural theory and practice in the early and middle decades of the twentieth century. The term is associated with scepticism, irony and philosophical critiques of the concepts of universal truths and objective reality.
The term readymade was first used by French artist Marcel Duchamp to describe the works of art he made from manufactured objects. It has since often been applied more generally to artworks by other artists made in this way.