Research on Presence
An artwork can take you by surprise. You might walk around a museum, look at the works one by one and then suddenly catch sight of a particular painting in the corner of the room. A stranger’s portrait can make you forget the time and place while a museum’s architecture and atmosphere can give you goosebumps. Some people’s experience of a painting or a sculpture is like an infatuation which you keep coming back to, while others travel a long way to visit a specific place.
Faaborg Museum and the University of Southern Denmark have set out to examine these sorts of experiences through a collaborative research project running from 2015 until 2018.
Two researchers are working on the three-year project. Theis Vallø Madsen is investigating ‘presence’ as a theoretical concept and will be publishing his findings in a series of articles. Tina Anette Madsen is researching her doctoral thesis on the museum-goers’ experience of presence and atmosphere taking Faaborg Museum as a case study. The aesthetics of ‘presence’ considered by French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy, Professor Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, Dr. Eelco Runia and others is the starting point for the project. In recent years this methodology has received considerable attention from researchers and practitioners across a range of disciplines such as architecture, literature, art and design.