Reading on Re-imagining with guest reader Gladys Zeevaarders
Gladys Zeevaarders, toyobo print with two colours, 2022
7 – 8 pm CEST
online and on-site
Reading session I
in fold #06 on Re-imagining
With Gladys Zeevaarders
Moderated by Michaela Davidova
Please register by filling out
the registration form
The event can be joined free of charge.
It is organised by artists and volunteers
of the SEA Foundation.
The reading sessions at
SEA Foundation are planned
every last Thursday of the month
This reading group event is part
of SEA Foundations’ longer-term
research on art and sustainability
fold #06 on Re-imagining
Phenomenology of Perception
In 2023 we continue with the reading folds online and on-site at Tivolistraat 22, the location of SEA Foundation. For each reading invited artists suggests a text for the theme of the fold that we currently researching and together we read and discuss it through the lens of the artistic practice. The reading sessions are moderated by Tilburg-based artist and curator Michaela Davidova, Graphic designs by Jinhye Lee. Together with the team of SEA Foundation we invite you to join us every last Thursday of the month at 7 pm (CEST).
Our first guest in 2023 is artist Gladys Zeevaarders. For fold #06 on Re-imagining, Zeevaarders suggested reading an excerpt from the book Phenomenology of Perception written by French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty.
“Sensing is this living communication with the world that makes it present to us as the familiar place of our life. The perceived object and the perceiving subject owe their thickness to sensing.” (Merleau-Ponty, 2005, p.61)
The bit of text we are going to read together is devoted to sensation and sense experience. Sensation, such as feeling of a temperature is not, according to Merleau-Ponty, defined as a pure impression of perception but as a quality of the objects perceived. The objects we see, hear or sense in the field of our perception have qualities that can be experienced in relation to other qualities in the environment. However, through the analysis of objects we do not really sense the qualities but construct meanings based on our prejudices about the perceived world.
Moreover, sensation is not an element of consciousness but the object itself. It is the bodily experience that explores perception as rather transcendental than established by thought. Thus, to sense alongside Merleau-Ponty is to step aside from what we know about the world around us and to look for “pre-objective state that we have to explore in ourselves if we wish to understand sense experience.” (Merleau-Ponty, 2005, p.14).
Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961) was a French philosopher who got to be known, besides other writings, for his study of phenomenology and how the meaning is constituted in human experience. To him it was not a consciousness which constitutes knowing but our body. Experiencing world through our body orients the meaning around corporeity and embodiment. The body and mind are not separated, instead the consciousness is the intentionality of our body and this lived experience is creating meaning.
In his writings, Merleau-Ponty is influenced by French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre who wrote on phenomenology of the imagination, or by Martin Heidegger and Edmund Husserl.
Artist Gladys Zeevaarders is a Dutch artist based in Limburg. The physical environment in which she finds herself serves as a possibility to look for things that fascinate and amaze her. The adventure and enchantment that results from these surroundings ensure that a rich breeding ground springs up. This rich soil enables her to build up a wondrous collection. An accumulation of photos, sketches, texts, and objects serves to start a visual dialogue. This creates a personal ‘field guide’ with subjective hypotheses, ideas, and interpretations.
Website Gladys Zeevaarders
The programme of reading sessions:
More any suggestions for reading? Check out the Re-imagining recommended booklist