The Unsayable in Arts-Based research: On the Praxis of Life Itself

Merel Visse, Finn Thorbjørn Hansen, Carlo Leget

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Abstract

Arts-based research (ABR) provokes different ways of thinking about how art relates to knowledge in research. There are few authors, however, who explicate their view on aesthetics in the context of ABR and the type of knowledge that it generates. Accordingly, this article clarifies an aesthetic view in the context of a phenomenological approach to ABR. Ample arts-based researchers explore questions that touch upon the liminal nature and complexities of our lived experiences. Phenomenology is about that exactly: It leans into the unsayable dimensions of our reality and is interested in poetic and apophatic knowing. Apophatic knowing is a negating approach to understanding the unsayable, that is, a way of “nonknowing.” It can be practiced as a silent receptiveness. Consequently, we propose a Gadamerian approach to aesthetics that perceives ABR as an event. We argue for a poetics of research that is about being open and responsive to the movements of the artwork that ABR generates. Thus, by being receptive to movement, the enigma of phenomenality or life itself becomes the heart of ABR.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Methods
Volume18
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
ISSN1609-4069
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2019

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art
aesthetics
phenomenology
event
experience

Keywords

  • arts-based methods
  • existential phenomenology
  • interpretive phenomenology
  • methods in qualitative inquiry
  • phenomenology

Cite this

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abstract = "Arts-based research (ABR) provokes different ways of thinking about how art relates to knowledge in research. There are few authors, however, who explicate their view on aesthetics in the context of ABR and the type of knowledge that it generates. Accordingly, this article clarifies an aesthetic view in the context of a phenomenological approach to ABR. Ample arts-based researchers explore questions that touch upon the liminal nature and complexities of our lived experiences. Phenomenology is about that exactly: It leans into the unsayable dimensions of our reality and is interested in poetic and apophatic knowing. Apophatic knowing is a negating approach to understanding the unsayable, that is, a way of “nonknowing.” It can be practiced as a silent receptiveness. Consequently, we propose a Gadamerian approach to aesthetics that perceives ABR as an event. We argue for a poetics of research that is about being open and responsive to the movements of the artwork that ABR generates. Thus, by being receptive to movement, the enigma of phenomenality or life itself becomes the heart of ABR.",
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The Unsayable in Arts-Based research : On the Praxis of Life Itself. / Visse, Merel; Hansen, Finn Thorbjørn; Leget, Carlo.

In: International Journal of Qualitative Methods, Vol. 18, 04.06.2019, p. 1-13.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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