A3 – Submission

 My online submission of assignment 3 consists of this page and sub-sections of the blog menu (Assignments – Assignment 3) category:


(for a full list of submitted items please refer to the content list)



The Expanded Dissociative Gesture


A series of paintings derived from my exploration of screen based images and especially informed by my performative enactment of Richard Serra’s ‘Hand Catching Lead’ (1968). A platform for my hand to explore the screen, the imagery, and eventually getting lost, separated from my body. An autonomous acting gesture searching for meaning and inviting the viewer to see beyond visible surfaces. My hand painted and my gesture is kept as a searching memory.

All works done in acrylic and/or oil paint on perspex (6mm), Rhenalon, Mylar, and/or paper (sizes approx 40 x 30 cm, framed 45 x 35 cm)

My reflective account

Not knowing how to start, I was more concerned to relate to my parallel project and to objects and my bodily MRI experience. However, after a short time it became clearer that my appropriation of Richard Serra’s video work through a painterly and performative enactment with a staged TV-box became the major theme that continued through the rest of the coursework and inform my assignment work. Through multiple stages of enactment, performing, recording, projecting, observing, and painting I eventually concluded the circle with this assignment submission.

Throughout this visual research cycle, I enjoyed working with moving images, to record my performance in painted scenes, and to project the recordings on various material surfaces informing observational paintings.

At some point of time, I was struggling with the way forward. It felt as if I was more interested in and searching for expanded ways of painting beyond flat representational works of my recordings (links see below). Otherwise I could have stopped further exploration and submitted my painting from step one. In a sense as Petersen described through the works of Peter Bonde a new exploration of ‘spatiality’ in painting and overcoming a ‘linear way’ of reading through installation approaches as painting. (Petersen et al., 2013:126, 191). I wanted to let the painting perform in similar ways as the light of the projector did in the first place.

This struggle, epiphanic moments of observed artefacts, and my bodily experience of my dissociative hand (as felt through my TV-box-stage performance) informed deeply my work. Peer feedback supported me to keep the hand as a figurative and emotionally engaging element in my works.

At the end, I was more concerned about quality of outcome, trying to make works that could be installed in a gallery (compared to my previous assignments). I was pleased of not knowing the final outcome till the end. Play, serendipity and intense explorations of materiality, especially of transparent materials and surface transfer processes, I discovered new ways to embed the hand as performative gesture. I was satisfied to see how due to the translucency of the material (Perspex), the surrounding light made back its performative act.

I was intrigued by the works of Jaqueline Humphries and her layering, masking, and stencil approach, as well as the works of Helen Chadwick that made a deep impact on my thinking. Her notebook research approach is something to learn more from.

Looking back, I do feel that I need to be more conscious about timing and depth of visual explorations. When to stop and what to submit (apparently, I didn’t want to submit the first stage paintings). Nevertheless, I learned more things and got some good spin-off ideas for my parallel project, that I would not have got without this circle of investigation.

(word count: 456)


  • Petersen, A. R., Bogh, M., Christensen, H. D. and Larsen, P. N. (2013) Contemporary Painting in Context, Novo Nordisk Foundation Art History Project, reprint ed. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, University of Copenhagen.

Moving Images:

(all accessible at my vimeo profile at: https://vimeo.com/stefanschaffeld)


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