Intra-Actions with Nature (and Beyond): Hilma af Klint, Else Alfelt, and Sonja Ferlov Mancoba

Tutkimustuotos: Artikkeli kirjassa/konferenssijulkaisussaChapterScientificvertaisarvioitu


This essay will discuss three important Nordic modern artists active during two different but overlapping eras. Hilma af Klint (1862-1944) was a pre/early Swedish modernist with an abstract language prior to her time, while the two Danish contemporaries, Else Alfelt (1910-1974) and Sonja Ferlov Mancoba (1911-1984), who were in the same circles of abstract and Surrealist artists in Copenhagen in the 1930s. What all three artists had in common in their work was the use of nature as a steady referent, along with the inclusion of the non-human, especially the spiritual and an ongoing dialogue with their material of choice as important elements informing the process of creation. This essay will frame the work of af Klint, Alfelt, and Ferlov Mancoba through a contemporary performative theory that stems from new materialist philosophy, namely the intra-action theory coined by feminist theorist and scientist Karen Barad, in addition to the vital materialism of political theorist and philosopher Jane Bennett. In new materialist theory, there is an approach to the non-human or other-than-human that can be beneficial for a contemporary reading and discussion of the artworks of these women and the dialogues which are created through encounters that occur within their artistic processes. Also of relevance to this discussion are the empiricist concepts of the philosopher Henri Bergson, who played a crucial role in later post-structuralist and new materialist philosophical discussions about affect and becoming, seminally by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari.i

These three artists and their artworks are in an entanglement of intra-acting agencies, where meaning is created on the basis of the relation between the elements involved in the artistic process. While the cosmic was important to both af Klint and Alfelt, af Klint and Ferlov Mancoba shared an interest in the role of the messenger as medium or shaman.
OtsikkoModern Women Artists in the Nordic Countries, 1900–1960
ToimittajatKerry Greaves
KustantajaRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group
ISBN (elektroninen)9780367823672
ISBN (painettu)9780367423384
TilaJulkaistu - 6 huhtikuuta 2021
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA3 Kirjan osa tai toinen tutkimuskirja


NimiRoutledge Research in Gender and Art
KustantajaRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group


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