Chalmers Conferences, Transvaluation: Making the world matter

Hunting in the snow. Artistic research as parrhesia.
Tom Lambeens, Kris Pint

Last modified: 2015-08-17


Our paper takes Bruegel’s Hunters in the snow (c. 1565) as a starting point. We will not present a traditional art historical analysis, but approach it as an ‘environment of thinking’. Anachronistically, Bruegel’s painting helps us to understand the problems and possibilities of a Nietzschean ‘transvaluation’ in and by artistic research. Bruegel’s painting is more than an allegory: we will link it – and the knowledge that can be gained by artistic research – to Michel Foucault’s revaluation of the classical notion of parrhesia, a kind of truth-speaking that is not grounded in an external framework of scientific protocols and methods, but in a personal, bodily ascesis, in an ethical praxis. We want to argue that the artistic research can operate as a modern form of parrhesia in academic discourse, a parrhesia based on the visual and sensual qualities of a work of art.


artistic research; cynical parrhesia; image-sensation; Breugel


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