Florencia Almiron: The Moving Image Portrait as an Aesthetic Political Experiment in Mimesis

Advisor/tutor: Rachel O'Reilly

Arnhem, June 2017


This thesis explores Facial Mimesis as an element of artistic production that crosses media forms and histories, but which in my practice has been developed through videographic portraiture. It draws on aesthetic philosophy and media theory to articulate a space of experimentation for portraiture in an expanded field. In the first chapter, I analyse the voice by way of its philosophical, political, physical and sonorous dimensions. Here, I articulate the notions of political speech, body and female subjectivity through the work of Adriana Cavarero in her text For more that One Voice, Toward a Philosophy of Vocal Expression; and Kaja Silverman’s The Acoustic Mirror, The Female Voice in Psychoanalysis and Cinema. The second chapter is a study of the face as a visual-affective image and as producer of meaning, and therefore, as a revealer of inner characteristics constructed precisely through dialogical imagined relationships between inside and outside. A connection and reference to Shakespeare’s symbolic use of the face in his plays and their direct relationship to Francis Bacon’s painting portraits allow me to articulate the question of facial mimesis through the figure of a body without a face/head. The fourth chapter resumes key threads of the previous three chapters to present a series of possible strategies for future aesthetic political experimentation for vocal portraiture projects in my work.