Art and Media Research

Public defence in Contemporary Art, MFA Agnieszka Karasch

14.11.2023 10:00 – 12:00
Public defence from the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Art and Media

Cover image of Agnieszka's thesis. Two hands dirty with charcoal intertwined with orange thread.

The dissertation focuses on the Reciprocal Drawing (RD) method – a collaborative practice developed by Agnieszka Karasch in which two collaborators draw while maintaining co-dependence between their moving bodies. Unlike other forms of collaborative drawing, RD is challenging because the collaborators affect each other’s motions while drawing. To enable focus, the method combines 3 frames in unprecedented ways: a contact-imposing partnering strategy, a repertoire of body actions, and a set of rules. In this way, the collaborators may devise complex embodied processes resulting in refined large-scale drawings. 

The purpose of the study was to extend conventional drawing towards a performative and contact-based formula. The research responds to challenges posed by those partnering strategies which employ bodies’ co-dependence. Consequently, greater complexity of the drawing process and coherence of the drawn form are achieved. 

RD reinforces the authenticity of actions, enables co-exploration of physicality and resistance, co-production of multiple drawing compositions and the transformation of existing ones. The method generates conflict, engages partners emotionally, and evokes mutual trust. The research stresses the embodied, expressive, and dialogic character of Reciprocal Drawing. Its processes prove to finely reflect the social and relational aspects of human life. Defined as play, RD reveals its subversive, transformative and solidifying function. It renders learning new approaches to drawing possible. It is a postconsensual practice where the engaged artists co-explore the benefits of embodied conflict without posing a threat to each other's integrity. RD evokes self-limitation and responsibility for the other.

Thesis available for public display 10 days prior to the defence at:


Doctoral candidate: MA Agnieszka Karasch

Opponent: Dr. Stuart Grant, School of Literature, Arts, and Media, The University of Sydney

Custos: Prof. Anniina Suominen, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Art and Media

Time: Friday 24.11.2023, 10:00 – 12:00

Location: Lecture hall M1, Otakaari 1, Espoo


Event language: English

The audience is kindly asked to enter the lecture hall no later than 10:00.

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