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Gestualités coverbale et artistique / Gesture in spoken languages and art

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Gestualités coverbale et artistique / Gesture in spoken languages and art

Chloé Dechery, Université Paris 8 « To Watch/Witness/Make/Account For –Performance : An Interplay of Relations »

Using and interrogating the notion of the « embodied point of view » as a starting point, this
presentation aims to reflect on performance considered through three different levels:
- as an artistic event, theatrical performance lies upon and encourages the co-presence of heterogeneous, sometimes, conflicted or contradictory embodied points of view. What is performance if not a constantly re-negotiated relation between moving, shifting, unstable embodied points of view? - as a field of research and study - and from an autobiographical perspective – performance stands as a porous field from within I operate in different capacities (as a writer, a performer, a maker, an occasional dramaturge, a spectator, a critic, a theorist and a pedagogue). Thus, performance requires a constant redistribution of my position and the relation I maintain between watching, thinking and doing (what am I looking at? How does it move me? How do I act upon it?) - as a spectacle, performance often sets up its own parameters and spectating conditions, asking, enabling or producing one or plural modes of attention and embodiment from its performers and spectators. In return, it could prove fruitful to ask how my gaze, as a spectator, “performs” or collude with performance, that is what lies in front (or around) me.

Irene Mittelberg, RWTH Aachen University Viewpoint and immersion in multimodal descriptions of imagined pictorial and architectural space: Insights through gesture and gaze

Viewpoint has been shown to be a powerful construal mechanism in multimodal spoken and signed discourse, as well as in various other modalities (e.g., Dancygier and Sweetser 2012; Dudis 2004; Parrill 2009; Stec 2013). This paper investigates embodied viewpoint strategies that have been observed when speakers combine speech, gestures, postures, gaze, and simulated action to describe their interaction with spatial artifacts such as gallery buildings, architectural models, and paintings (Mittelberg 2013, 2017).
‘Simulated artifact immersion’ is introduced as a multimodal viewpoint strategy whereby speakers submerge into their mental representation of a spatial artifact by perceiving and experiencing it from an internal vantage point. It is argued that this viewpoint strategy tends to be employed when there is no narrative structure for the speakers to fall back on.
The paper’s aim is twofold: a) to propose that when speakers talk about their own experiences with spatial artifacts, distinguishing between immersed and non-immersed Experiential Viewpoint strategies (e.g., Sweetser 2013) may be more fitting than distinguishing between Character and Observer Viewpoint (e.g., McNeill 1992); and b) to discuss how considering the interaction of iconic, indexical, and metonymic principles in gesture (Mittelberg and Waugh 2014) may elucidate multimodal viewpoint phenomena in general.



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