Narratives - stories of stones and humans

Keywords: narrative, metamorphosis, sense-making, sequence, visual arts


When considering the notion of narrative in the visual arts, a rather important problem is encountered: how can an isolated whole like a canvas, an installation or a sculpture be analy­zed in terms of narrative and, hence, in terms of a sequence?

The article aims to show that the problem of a sequence versus an isolated item in the visual arts can be solved through the mode of implicit anticipation of the future and implicit recognition of the past. That is to say, although it is difficult to consider a sequence structure concerning an isolated item like a canvas or an installation, it is possible to think of it as embedded in a more abstract sequence, wherein the work of art is a ‘moment’ between the past and the future implicitly present in it.

I would also like to argue that the most important part of narrative is not so much the technical aspect of its sequence-bound structure, but rather that which is implicit to the definition of nar­rative: that, above all, narrative is a symptom of a compulsion to make sense of the world.

Author Biography

Anna Szyjkowska-Piotrowska, Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw, Poland

A philosopher of culture and a linguist. She holds MA degrees in Philosophy and Applied Linguistics from the University of Warsaw, where she also completed her PhD in Philosophy. She lectures at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and at the Frederic Chopin University of Music. Author of the books: Po-twarz. Przekraczanie widzalności w sztuce i filozofii (After-face. Transgressing visuality in art and philosophy, 2015, Słowo obraz/terytoria) and Dyrygując falom. Myślenie w wi­zualno-muzycznych awangardach (Conducting the waves. Thinking in visual and musical avant-gardes, 2019, Słowo obraz/terytoria).


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