This paper investigates the intertwining of the physical, the psychical and the social in the apprehension and experience of colour. It draws together Julia Kristeva’s analysis of the operations of the triple register of colour as it is developed in her essay ‘Giotto’s Joy’ (1980) and Yves Klein’s perceptual approach to painting in order to propose a rethinking of realism as a material realism; not one that is grounded in mimesis, but one that is arises out of the body and a rethinking of perceptual approaches to the Real. Through reference to a single artwork, Neon Blue (2007), this paper will draw out the implications of Kristeva’s explication of the triple register and propose that the economy of the triple register provides the mechanism through which the Real insinuates and effects the ruin of representation. It argues that the triple register offers a site where we can begin to refigure a “new realism”.
|Keywords:||Materialism, New Realism, Colour, Yves Klein, Julia Kristeva, Neon Blue|
Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies, Faculty of the Victorian College of Arts and Music, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia