Whose Joy? Giotto, Yves Klein and Neon Blue

By Barbara Bolt.

Published by The International Journal of the Image

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

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

The International Journal of the Image, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp.57-68. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 879.202KB).

Associate Professor. Barbara Bolt

Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies, Faculty of the Victorian College of Arts and Music, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Barbara Bolt is Associate Dean (Academic) at the Victorian College of the Arts, The University of Melbourne. She is a practicing artist who has also written extensively on the visual arts and its relationship to philosophy and on practice-as-research. Her publications include two monographs Art Beyond Representation: The Performative Power of the Image (I.B.Tauris, 2004) and Heidegger Reframed: Interpreting Key Thinkers For the Arts (I.B.Tauris, 2011), and two edited publications, Practice as Research: Approaches to Creative Arts Enquiry (I.B.Tauris, 2007) with Estelle Barrett and Sensorium: Aesthetics, Art, Life (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2007). She is currently co-editing (with Estelle Barrett) a book on the new materialism (working title Carnal Knowledge: Towards a “New Materialism” Through the Arts). She exhibits with the Catherine Asquith Gallery in Melbourne. Website http://www.barbbolt.com/