Edmund Husserl was a German philosopher of the 19th/20th century and thought to be the founder of phenomenology.
From what I understood, following my research several years ago of French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s book Phenomenology of Perception (Merleau-Ponty, n.d.), phenomenology is based on how one perceives an object based on their past experiences. I thought it would be interesting to look further into this because my project uses recognizable objects which may be perceived differently by audience members dependent on their individual experiences.
Husserl believed that one should try to look at objects by not considering what we have learnt or been taught about the said object but rather by using our own “intuition” (Lewis & Staehler, p6, 2010) By doing so one would be able to experience the object without trying to interpret it (Ibid). Therefore, “we should not accept anything we have learnt, any particular ways of thinking we might have inherited from our culture and upbringing – we are to verify everything ourselves, individually, with our own intuition” (Ibid).
I feel this is an interesting concept with regard to my own work as I am hoping that the audience will be able to make up their own minds about my installation and interpret it as they see fit. However, I would also hope that they may be able to empathize with the work to a degree and find a shared experience and perception of the objects.
Lewis, M. & Staehler, T. (2010) Phenomenology An Introduction. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group
Merleau-Ponty, M. (n.d.). Phenomenology of perception. 1st ed.