Mimesis marks the halfway point of Robbie Karmel’s PhD being undertaken at UNSW School of Art and Design (formerly COFA) and includes new experimental and performative work that explores concepts of embodiment, perception, and representation through expanded drawing practices.
Karmel’s PhD investigations propose that mimetic practice is facilitated by the human being’s capacity for the analytical process of thinking and developing understanding through the embodied, enactive and intermodal process of re-presentation. It suggests that mimetic practice is the process of observation and representation as facilitated and shaped by the material conditions of embodied being. Karmel’s work explores the process of accessing the world and its objects, including perceptions of the body as being part of the world. He attends to perceptual experience, re-presenting comprehensions of that experience back on to the world. In so doing he engages with concepts about the embodied being’s capacity for reflective and considered enactive motility.
The works showcase Karmel’s material thinking-through of these concerns, allowing the act of drawing to be used as an access point and record of the consideration of experience of the shape of perception. Working with charcoal and graphite on paper or timber surfaces, Karmel maps out the body relying on the intermodal array of senses, challenging dominant opticentric modes of picture making. The exhibition includes process and planning drawings, large-scale performative drawings, and experimental works that engage with the construction of studio furniture and architectural spaces that facilitate and shape mimetic drawing processes.