Activities Courses and seminars

Visible Subjects/Visual Histories. Feminist, queer and trans narratives versus the historiography of art

08 to 09 May 2009

MACBA Auditorium. Admission free. Limited seating

Seminar PEI Open Program

With the participation of Marina Grzinic, Catherine Lord, Richard Meyer, Juan Antonio Suárez, Frank Wagner and Tim Stüttgen among others. Presenter: Beatriz Preciado.

In recent years the relationship between art, feminism and sexual micropolitics has become one of the axes from which incisive re-readings of the dominant historiography of art are being carried out. To the critical rehabilitation of figures like Adrian Piper, Judy Chicago, Nicole Eisenman, Katharina Sieverding, Esther Ferrer, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Jürgen Klauke, Carlos Leppe and Ocaña must be added the proliferation of collective exhibitions that, often on the basis of North American genealogies, attempt to narrate other histories and to give an account of other gazes. Yet how are we to understand this sudden institutional inscription? Is it a question of a depoliticising recuperation or of an opportunity to re-politicise the hegemonic narrations of the history of art? What is the relationship of feminist, gay and lesbian identity politics with these historiographic projects? How does the queer epistemological critique affect the modern project of the archive? How are figures central to the dominant historiographic project, like Warhol, resituated in these new narratives? What are the relationships between visuality, public representation, identity, power and subjectivation described by these subaltern historiographies?

Programme

8 May from 6 to 9 pm; 9 May from 11 am to 2 pm and from 4 pm to 8 pm


Friday May 8, 6pm to 9pm

The master narrative and feminist historiography

From the 1970s onwards, authors like Lucy Lippard, Laura Mulvey, Griselda Pollock and Linda Nochlin, with their critical approach to the male gaze and patriarchal art structures, set out to question the validity of the dominant historiography and created the opportunity to set up new narratives based on a position of difference. However, this critical undertaking to rewrite art history through multiple, decentred narratives seemed to become more complex when it came up against a new institutional context that absorbs its demands for representation, transforming them into multicultural fetishes and the spectacle of difference. How can we read the art institution's current recuperation of «feminism» as an art movement? What are the consequences of the «performative turn» on the redefinition of identity? And what effects does this denaturalisation have on the possibility of a feminist historiography of art? How can we rethink the relationship between history, visuality and feminism based on premises that take into account the intersectional constructions of race, class, sexuality and corporality?

Lisa Gail Collins:
Art and social movements of the sixties and seventies in the United States

Marina Grzinic:
A theoretical-political positioning of feminism in Eastern Europe: the case of performance and feminism in former Yugoslavia.

Elisabeth Lebovici:
After the shows... Must the show go on? Women in 21st century exhibitions


Saturday May 9, from 11 am to 2 pm

Gay archive or pop closet? Warhol and the invention of queer historiography

Warhol's restoration and circulation of unreleased films between 1963 and 1969, together with the private collection of images and objects that he kept at his home – not at The Factory – have generated a mutation in the way his work is understood, and also in the notions of "pop" and "gay art". Warhol's work, the epicentre of a dispute between art, cultural studies and queer theory, has become a sign of the search for a new historiographic framework from which to reconsider consumption, visibility, sexuality and identity politics during the cold war and its connection to arts production.

Richard Meyer:
What Warhol taught me.

Juan Antonio Suárez:
Reviewing the queer archive: Warhol-amphetamine-noise-sexuality

José Esteban Muñoz:
Non-coactive itineraries for Latinidad: Warhol, Montez and others


Saturday May 9, 4pm to 8pm

Stories for techno-bodies. Post-identity politics and queer and transgender practices

After the AIDS crisis and the absorption of identity politics into normalisation mechanisms, there has been an emergence of new forms of activism and intervention through deviant uses of identity production technologies. Electronic culture, the expansion of neoliberalism and changing geopolitical relations have transformed the conditions of activism and led to the possible creation of micro-narratives that require new strategies of resistance. By supplanting masculine/feminine and hetero/homosexual dialectics, postcolonial, queer and transgender movements also question the dominant historiography and its forms of visibility. At the same time, they cast doubt on differential historiographies and run the risk of producing other invisibilities.

Catherine Lord:
Notes on tenderness

Tim Stüttgen:
Precarious intellect: art, sex, immaterial labour and bodily capital, notes on problems and possibilities for a queer bohemia

Frank Wagner:
Politics of representation: sexuality, AIDS, gender: curatorial concepts and exhibition practices


Participants

Lisa Gail Collins is assistant professor of Art History at Vassar College (New York), where she teaches visual art and Afro-American material culture, Afro-American interdisciplinary history, feminist thought and US social and cultural movements of the 20th century. She is the author of The Art of History: African American Women Artists Engage the Past and Art by African-American Artists: Selections from the 20th Century, and co-author of African-American Artists, 1929-1945: Prints, Drawings, and Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as co-editor of New Thoughts on the Black Arts Movement.

Marina Grzinic is a philosopher, artist and theorist. She works in Ljubljana and Vienna. She is a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Institute of Fine Arts, where she teaches post-conceptual arts practices, and researcher at the Institute of Philosophy, at the Scientific and Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Science and Art. She is also a freelance media theorist, art critic and curator. Her most recent book is Re-Politicizing Art, Theory, Representation and New Media Technology. Grzinic has been involved with video art since 1982. In collaboration with Aina Smid, she has produced more than forty video art projects. www.grzinic-smid.si

Elisabeth Lebovici earned a doctorate in Aesthetics in 1983, after studying the History of Art and Philosophy at Paris X University Nanterre. In 1979 and 1980, Lebovici was a scholarship holder at the Whitney Museum's Independent Studies Program. An art critic since 1984, she was chief writer at Beaux-Arts Magazine before being hired by French newspaper Libération as art and culture editor, a position she held from 1991 to 2006. She is currently a freelance journalist, writes the blog le-beau-vice.blogspot.com and collaborates with the website www.poptronics.fr and the radio station France-Culture.

Richard Meyer is associate professor in the department of Art History and director of the Contemporary Project at the University of Southern California (USC). Meyer is the founding director of the popular Visual Studies postgraduate program at USC, which he will direct once again next autumn. He is the author of Outlaw Representation: Censorship and Homosexuality in Twentieth-Century American Art, which won the 2003 Charles C. Eldredge Award for Outstanding Scholarship from the Smithsonian American Art Museum. He also co-author, with Anthony Lee, of Weegee and Naked City. More recently, he curated Warhol's Jews: Ten Portraits Reconsidered at the Jewish Museum in New York and the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. His essay «Artists Sometimes Have Feelings» was selected for the College Art Association's 2009 Art Journal Award. Meyer is currently completing work on two publishing projects: a book co-edited with Catherine Lord, i>Art and Queer Culture, 1885 to the Present (due to be published in 2010) and a brief history of contemporary art in the United States called What was Contemporary Art?

Juan Antonio Suárez is associate professor at the University of Murcia. He is the author of the books Bike Boys, Drag Queens and Superstars: Avant-Garde, Mass Culture and Gay Identities in the 1960s Underground Cinema (1996), Pop Modernism: Noise and the Reinvention of the Everyday (2007), Jim Jarmusch (2007) as well as numerous articles. His recent essays include: «La materialidad y el arte de género», in EXITBOOK, 9 (2008), «The Puerto Rican Lower East Side and the Queer Underground Grey Room 32» (2008), «Structural Film: Noise» in StillMoving, edited by Karen Beckman and Jean Ma (2008) and «Myth, Matter, Queerness: The Cinema of Marie Menken, Willard Maas, and the Gryphon Group», in Grey Room, 36 (August 2009).

José Esteban Muñoz is professor and chair of Performance Studies at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. He writes on gender an race issues in connection to experimental aesthetics. He is the author of Disidentifications: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics and Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity (October 2009).

Catherine Lord is professor of studio art at the University of California (Irvine). She is an artist, writer and curator whose work addresses feminism, cultural politics and colonialism. She is the author of the experimental text/image book The Summer of Her Baldness: A Cancer Improvisation, and has published critical essays and fictions in numerous publications. She is currently collaborating with Richard Meyer on a book called Art and Queer Culture, 1885 to the Present (Phaidon Press) and is preparing a project called The Effect of Tropical Light on White Men.

Tim Stüttgen holds a BA in film studies from the University of Middlesex (London) and the Free University in Berlin, and studied fine arts at the HFBK in Hamburt, queer poststructuralism at the Jan van Eyck Academy (Maastricht) and gender studies at Humboldt University in Berlin. Stüttgen performs, writes and publishes inside and outside institutional structures, and embodies his alter ego, the drag queen Timi Mei Monigatti. He is currently editing a compilation of texts under the title Post Porn Politics and preparing the second symposium of post-porn politics.

Frank Wagner lives and works in Berlin. His project Vollbild AIDS - An Exhibition about Living and Dying (Berlin, 1988) was the first exhibition on art and AIDS to be held in Germany. He also introduced ACT UP New York and Gran Fury in Berlin. Until 1998, he experimented with the subject of AIDS in various exhibition formats. In 2006 he organised The Eighth Square, a queer exhibition on gender, life and desire in the visual arts, at the Ludwig Museum (Cologne), and a Félix González-Torres retrospective at the Hamburger Bahnhif Museum of Contemporary Art (Berlin). In 2008 he conceived and developed another notable queer group exhibition called Gewoon anders for the Cobra Museum Amsterdam/Amstelveen.

Contact

MACBA Public Programs
pei@macba.cat

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