A NECESSARY VIOLENCE: DECONSTRUCTING ANN HAMILTON’S TROPOS

Susan Brandoli

Abstract


Installation art is not permanent; it is an act of art - an event that takes place over a certain amount of time and is conceived of only for a specific location. Of an installation, of the event itself, one can say that it consists of a series of signs, endlessly shifting in relation to each other, to themselves and to the viewer. The work tropos by installation artist Ann Hamilton focuses most notably on instances of repetition, what the artist sometimes calls the "accretion of small gestures" (qtd. in Hickey 129), and from this we can discern ideas that constitute notions of presence and absence. In order to investigate these ideas within Hamilton’s work, we can use as a starting point the strategies of deconstruction, drawn from the writings of Marx, Freud and Derrida, to begin to unravel the many varied parts of the whole.

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