Degree Name

Doctor of Creative Arts


School of the Arts, English and Media


Mimesis has held a central role in art making since ancient times as a primary means of apprehending the real. This exegesis is an explication of the various mimetic functions that have endured in modern and contemporary art practises such as the readymade and its sculptural simulation. I consider key works by Andy Warhol, Marcel Duchamp, John Cage and Peter Fischli and David Weiss, examining their relationship to the concept and practise of mimesis. I address mimetic representation and replication in dialogue with philosophers such as Arthur Danto, Gorgio Agamben, Jean Baudrillard, Maurice Blanchot and Jennifer Anna Gosetti-Ferencei. This research asks if there is a fundamental difference between the mimetic activity in ancient Greek statuary and in modern and contemporary art practise through an exploration of the connections between trompe l’oeil and the quotidian as reciprocal and interdependent. Additionally, the exegesis seeks to clarify the complex relationship between formal philosophical thought and the operations of creative labour, highlighting points of intersection and divergence between two distinct modes of ‘thinking’. This distinction positions philosophical thought within mentally constructed concepts and artistic thought within mentally constructed images. The discussion provides a setting for my studio practise and brings into question the process of mimetic replication as a necessary additional step in the production of my work following the initial creation of a sculptural assemblage. In both activities—the configuration of found objects and the casting of their copies—I have discovered that the sculpture’s conceptual effect is echoed in the physical enactment of its fabrication. This exegesis is therefore an elucidation of my studio process, where the concerted acts of seeing, configuring and manufacturing retrieve representational sculptural objects from nothingness.

FoR codes (2020)

3606 Visual arts



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.