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Angelika Böck

De-Colonising the Western Gaze: The Portrait as a Multi-Sensory Cultural Practice

My PhD by prior publication critically engages with a decade of arts practice projects conducted during the past decade across diverse cultural contexts, alongside written publications, including journal articles and book chapters, from the last seven years. Given the dominant ocularcentric approach in Western representations of 'otherness', this body of practice-based research sets out to explore how it is possible to identify and theorise alternative multisensory methodological and analytical frameworks through which the Other can be represented, with a view to expanding notions of the 'portrait' as a culturally specific practice of relating and attributing. Turning the gaze upon herself in performative acts of mutual representation as a dialogical method, cross-cultural projects addressed in the thesis include the indigenous Sámi’s yoik, Aboriginal Australian’s track-reading and female veiling in Yemen.



Angelika Böck studied interior design (1986-1992) and sculpture (1992-1998) at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich. She works mainly as a freelance artist, but also teaches at Leopold Franzens Universität in Innsbruck, Austria. Her cross-cultural creative arts practice projects have engaged with different phenomena of human perception, forms of representation and participatory performative interventions. Within her conceptual arts practice installations, she draws on diverse media such as video, photography, text and sculpture. Artworks of the Portrait as Dialogue series have been exhibited internationally, for example, in Kunsthalle Emden (2005); German House, Sana’a, Yemen (2007); and Museum for Communication, Berlin (2012). Material from projects has been published in art catalogues such as Stille Post (Munich State Museum of Ethnography, 2004), The Upper Half. The BustSsince Auguste Rodin (2005); in peer-reviewed journals, for example: World Art (2012); Journal of International Women’s Studies (2012); Culture and Dialogue (2013); Critical Arts (2013); ART/E/FACT (2014); Journal of Visual Art Practice (2015); and as book chapters, for example: Zuschreibungen (2014).