Absent Bodies: Production of Presence and Vulnerability

Maite Garbayo

Fons audiovisual / Lectures and debates

In this session, we will seek to think of possible way to articulate the presence of the body in public space. Some of the first performances taking place in the 1970s in Spain, along with occupations of the street by feminist activism at the time,
materialise presences that share a vulnerability that is today recognised as characteristic of new political subjectivities. Faced with the ideal of the presence and transparency of meanings, a legacy of liberal modernity, these presences were conceived as absent, as oblique subjectivities. If it is presence that guarantees the viability of the subject in public space, absence allows us to imagine discordant modes of subjectivization that might compromise presence, understood as political completeness and representativity. As a possible response to the problem of being seen, artists like Dorothèe Selz, Fina Miralles, Àngels Ribé and Olga L. Pijoan would use veils, occultations and alterations that invited viewers to go beyond visuality.

Maite Garbayo Maeztu is an art historian and researcher, with a doctorate in Art History from the University of the Basque Country, and a Master in Art History from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). She is currently an
academic in the Department of Art at the Universidad Iberoamericana (Mexico City). From 2015 to 2016 she did post-doctoral work at the Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas of the UNAM, with the project Intersubjetividad y transferencia. Hacia una estética de lo incalculable [Intersubjectivity and Transference: Towards an Aesthetic of the Incalculable]. She has published in various exhibition catalogues, books and specialised journals. Since 2014 she is a member of Red de Conceptualismos del Sur. In 2016 she published her first book, Cuerpos que aparecen. Performance y feminismos en el tardofranquismo [Appearing Bodies: Performance and Feminisms in Late Francoism] (Consonni). Her research is focused on the intersections between feminist theory, visual culture and visions from the south, with special attention for performance and
body practices.

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