Life Drawing, Yawning Zombies and The Dragan Ilic Affair

Dr William Platz, PhD (Griff),  MA(Excel), BFA (Pratt), Lecturer, Fine Art.

Life Drawing, Yawning Zombies and The Dragan Ilic Affair ruminates over a few ongoing research projects as part of a longstanding inquiry into contemporary life drawing and the transactions that occur between artists and models. It draws upon recent studio practice and an investigation of Human Canvas — a 1979 performance at Brisbane’s College of Art by artist Dragan Ilic. The studio work blends the symbolic action of yawning with tropes associated with zombie narratives. A key point of reference for this work is an obscure and sinister drawing by Edgar Degas of a young woman yawning. The study of Human Canvas focuses on the transgressions of artist/model and professional/student boundaries and the retributive aftermath of the work. Life Drawing, Yawning zombies and the Dragan Ilic Affair will frame potentials for disrupting conventional life drawing methods.

Bill Platz is an artist and writer whose research, teaching and practice concern life drawing, portraiture and pedagogies of drawing, with an underlying focus on the studio transactions that occur between artists and models. This research brings theatrical and performative frameworks into alignment with conventional frameworks of skilfulness, material processes and drawing artefacts. Methods that include model collaboration, performance drawing, documentation and academic pretence, interrogate, reform and expand the understanding and teaching of drawing.

Dr Platz is a member of the International Neosymbolist Collective exhibiting in the United States, Denmark and the Czech Republic. Significant exhibitions include the Symbol X exhibit which traveled from the United States to Denmark and the Czech Republic, and Bridges to the Unknown at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art (for which Dr Platz also wrote the exhibition catalogue The Surface of Neosymbolism. He is also the co-convenor of the drawing research project Drawing International Griffith (DIG), which brings together leading drawing scholars and practitioners from around the world to conference and exhibit on the current state of drawing practice, curatorship and theory.

Other recent projects include the International Drawing Annual (INDA8) chapter Drawing Live, the exhibition of contemporary Australian prints and drawings Body Politic in Philadelphia, curating the exhibition Drawing {a,b} in Brisbane, the article Posing zombies: life drawing, performance and technology in the Studio Research Journal, a collaboration with the Global Workshop for Arena Calcetto at the 13th Venice International Architecture Biennale (also installed in Sydney), and performance drawing in the international survey exhibition Drawn to Experience in Brisbane.

Header Image: Dr William Platz, Life Drawing, Yawning Zombies and The Dragan Ilic Affair, FASST II, 1 November, 2015.