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Title: Self-portrait of the creator : analysing the image of individuality, divinity and mortality
Authors: Mizzi, Magdalene J.
Keywords: Self-portraits
Transcendence (Philosophy) in art
Issue Date: 2020
Citation: Mizzi, M.J. (2020). Self-portrait of the creator: analysing the image of individuality, divinity and mortality (Bachelor's dissertation).
Abstract: This project and dissertation will be analysing and connecting the ideas surrounding the human condition, where the nature of the existence of The Individual Self, transcendence and divinity, and their relationship with mortality will be discussed. This project is motivated by the strange times we live in: where man has become obsessed with themselves and their image, but has lost touch with the transcendental aspects of the universe while seeming to have forgotten the fickleness of our existence. The obsession with the image of the self stands witness all throughout the history of mankind, made manifest in the arts most forcefully in the quattrocento, and nowadays through the convenience of a digital or smartphone camera. Contemporary belief structures have however dismissed the idea of a transcendental presence within each human being as a result of the modern era destroying the individual with communism- serving the collective as one being- and individuality with capitalism- where consumerism of the mainstream kills the creative fibre. Perhaps it was with Nietzsche's proclamation that, “God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him,” that man has realised that the Enlightenment has not only stripped the socio-political power and wealth of church institutions, but has destroyed man's transcendental journey to finding their value and meaning of life. This does not mean that one should perpetuate a nihilist's ideology, in that regard losing faith and denying oneself happiness because of the inexistence of a higher power. Transcendence does not have to mechanically take on the form of God or another idol. It could be found within oneself in their perception of beauty, the scientific exploration of the world, and in philosophy. The real problem society has been faced with is not the replacement of God per se, but that society as a whole has not realised that God has been replaced inadequately. Renaissance humanism, its understanding and the application of its ideas of every individual‟s inherent worth are critical for an artist's role in humanity. An artist cannot begin to analyse and understand the external world, society and its behaviours without first understanding oneself and their place within the world. By coming to terms with the mortal aspect of life, the artist decides to create and take on the role of a God archetype, producing art and therefore leaving a part of themselves which will succeed them. The artist paints what they know, leaving traces of what they are. Thus, the artist becomes the artwork, and the artwork will assume the presence of the artist when they are no longer with us. This concept will be fleshed out in my research and visual project which will take on the form of a personal journey and a confessional artwork in understanding my own value as a woman and artist, and as a female artist taking on the role of a transcended being. In acknowledging the fact that as an artist I am also flawed and what I may leave behind and what my life had designed does not embody what a transcended, moreover a divine creator should be like at first glance, secures the idea that transcendence does not suggest perfection but rather, that a human being has found value in one's life, and an artist that finds value in one's art.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2020
Dissertations - FacArtHa - 2020

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