Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Susan Rankaitis

Reader 2

Paul Mann

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© 2008 Julia Allisson Cost


Translation is inevitably challenging work. When the human body and its movement are the subjects translated, the work may be particularly difficult, as questions both technical and ethical may arise about the representation in the second medium. Yet the exercise can also be very illuminating, creating space for insights that may not have been possible without the translation. For my Scripps College art thesis, I have created a series of paintings of Western dancers and researched four artists whose work involves bodies, movement, or dance and whose approaches differ tremendously. These artists are Edgar Degas (1834-1917), an impressionist painter known for his images of ballet, Julie Mehretu (born 1970), an abstract painter whose work implies dynamic movement, David Michalek (born 1967), a video artist and photographer who recently created a video exhibition called Slow Dancing, and Yvonne Rainer (born 1934), a choreographer and filmmaker whose work analyzes the audience-performer relationship and the politics of the body being watched. The work of these artists exemplifies four unique approaches in rendering the ephemeral and handling the politically charged territory of bodies as the subjects of artwork. With analyses of Degas, Mehretu, Michalek, and Rainer laying a comprehensive backdrop, I will then examine the technical and ethical implications of my own attempt to translate the body and movement to canvas.


Previously linked to as:,49

OCLC number: 549439186