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Lines (or against fixation)

posted on 2023-08-14, 08:02 authored by David KeatingDavid Keating

Lines (or against fixation), 2023 was produced as an element of the PhD research project, Against Fixation – The Ambivalence of the Drawn Line in Contemporary Art Practice. The project proposes that although drawn lines are considered a fundamental technology in the visualisation of knowledge, an underlying ambivalence lies at their core. The project explores their use in contemporary art, focusing on their natural capacity to disorganise and resist rigid forms of fixation and centralise ambivalence as a potent strategy in material practice.

Referencing the work of George Condo and Guy de Cointet, the theoretical component gives attention to the drawn line’s ability and inability to capture meaning and practices that reveal its elasticity. Inclinations explored through the theoretical positions of Jacques Derrida and Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. Exploring drawing’s ontological and epistemological limits, drawn lines are characterised as undecidable, shifting entities that have the potential to engage with and trouble the construction of subjects, objects feelings and philosophical positions.

The exhibition brought together elements of the bodies of work, Habitual Despair, You Architecture and the cinematic drawing The Line, representing an assembly of some of the more important works produced over the last four years. Focused primarily on simple line drawings, these bodies of work, tested for me the ability of the artwork to negotiate the production of meaning, whether this was through depictions of the body or other objects, the process of drawing itself or exploring the ambivalence of the drawn line and its ability to capture complex and contradictory states of being.


Year of publication, exhibition or creation


Type of creative work

  • Visual art work

Genre of visual art work

  • Other

Publisher or exhibiting gallery

Phyllis Palmer Gallery, La Trobe University, Bendigo

Place of publication, exhibition, or creation

Phyllis Palmer Gallery, La Trobe University, Bendigo


Ink and acrylic on paper, Digital 4K video

Rights Statement

© David Keating, 2022

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