Lara Morais: I take my time I produce my space

Mentor: Doreen Mende

Independent reviewer: Joshua Simon

Arnhem, June 2012


The reflected image of the body, is not only a duplication of the body image it also duplicates the environment around the body, placing real and virtual space (the reflected space) in a contiguous relation. It is a mapping of the body in relation to the space; a psychical map of the body.
This primary relationship between the body and space and how a body relates and produces space is represented through various examples in this thesis.
Several questions are raised concerning this subject, such as: Can a body belong to a space? How does one relate to space? Can one produce space? Why do we keep producing illusory spaces? Does one learn to become space, to build space, to move within a space, or to relate with space?
If space "...becomes space through movement..." [1] or if one can visualize a separate space through movement, then one can build an image of that space through the movement of the observer subject. Can this observer ʼs gaze become space? An abstract space particular to each observer?
Several spaces would then be produced based on a first visualization of a space being defined through an engagement that is either physical, illusory or produced by body movements.
When a body, in its corporeality, occupies a space through gestures, the combination of movement and the body orientation inside a space produces space.


[1] Elizabeth Grosz, "Essays on the politics of bodies", (New York, Routledge, 1995), pp.92


The thesis provides a very good contextualization for Lara Morais's work. By addressing key artworks and notions which inform her work, the thesis text itself creates a space through movements – from personal memories to philosophical concepts, infulential artworks and exercises. It is worth mentioning the accurate art-history references from which Morais conceptualizes her own investment in the production of space through duration. The text invited me as a reader to think of further examples. It produced a space of affinities that allowed me to come up with my own personal references. The creation of space is understood by Morais through bodily presence, synchronicity, sound and spectatorship. The thesis makes manifest the way her understanding of gesture following Agamben and self knowledge, produce subjectivities. Morais is interested in the construction of space, even if that space is made up of patches and of seemingly disconnected pieces (mental, physical, sonar, verbal, visual). The motivation here is not that of mere deconstruction, but of montage – where the putting together of materials produces an environment from which the materials are addressed. J.S.