Masoud Olia is an assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy of Art at the University of Art in Tehran, Iran. Phenomenology, in particular phenomenology of art and ethics, has been one of Masoud main interests. During his PhD studies he worked on the phenomenological ethics of Emmanuel Levinas and he wrote a book about it under the name of Discovering the Other with Levinas in his native language, Persian. In addition, Masoud Olia has translated some of important texts of the phenomenological movement (including Herbert Spiegleberg’s The Phenomenological Movement,Hannah Arendt’s The Life of the Mind and The Human Condition, Emmanuel Levinas’ Existence and Existents, and Colin Davies Levinas: An Introduction) into Persian. In recent years, he has focused on the phenomenological aesthetics, particularly that of Mikel Dufrenne. Masoud has delivered numerous courses and speeches in this area.
Temporal Dimensions of Painting, a Phenomenological Account
Masoud’s project is a phenomenological clarification of temporal dimensions of painting. In the first step, it shows how and in what forms time is appeared in painting, which is traditionally considered as a spatial, not temporal, art form. Or, phenomenologically speaking, what are the modes of appearance of time in painting? Secondly, and more importantly, the project focuses specifically on one of these appearance dimensions, namely the internal or immanent temporality of painting. It argues that this time goes on in the world of painting itself with its own tempo or momentum that does not necessarily correspond to the flow of objective or clock time. So not only painting is in time, but also it has a time of its own and for itself. This time is a congealed time which is uncongealed by the movement of viewer’s look. Masoud’s approach to this subject is a phenomenological one, and it is primarily based on the views of French art phenomenologist, Mikel Dufrenne and his masterpiece on the phenomenological aesthetics under the title of Phenomenology of Aesthetic Experience. In this project, he has tried to expand on Dufrenne's insights in this area. During his residency at Camargo, Masoud worked on these ideas. This calm and cozy place provided ample time for him to read some of the materials which are crucial to expand on his project. Also, there were ample opportunities to reflect on the elements and themes of the project and to find new aspects of it. Meanwhile, interactions with other fellows and attending their project discussions during the residency were so helpful for him to get a better understanding of certain parts of his project. While in residency, Masoud took many notes and wrote his ideas about the project.
Masoud Olia was in residence at the Camargo Foundation in 2020, as part of the Core Program. He presented his project on April 15, 2020.