Reweaving Ann Hamilton's Habitus
Bryn Mawr College. Department of History of Art
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My thesis focuses on contemporary artist Ann Hamilton’s recent project entitled habitus, a multi-site, multimedia installation that was presented in Philadelphia in the fall of 2016. Consisting of an exhibition at the Fabric Workshop and Museum as well as an installation of billowing fabrics at Municipal Pier 9, habitus provided visitors with a highly interactive and sensorially rich experience. Drawing primarily on the work of Walter Benjamin, as well as contemporary theorists of art, media, and geography, I analyze the unconventional, often non-linguistic ways in which Hamilton’s project creates meaning and structures social interactions. Ultimately, I argue that through rhythm, tactility, and the promotion of hyper attention, habitus creates a contemporary auratic experience that allows for an empathetic interaction between bodies, objects, and their histories.