Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

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Annual Postgraduate Symposium: Research in Progress 2015

Tuesday, 22 September 2015, Old Mining Building, G.19

A series of short papers (c.15 min, plus some time for discussion) by postgraduate research students progressing from the first to second year. An opportunity to hear something of the wide range of research topics and diverse approaches of Ph.D students in the School, for PGRs to meet with one another and especially to welcome new researchers to the School.

Welcome from Postgraduate Research Tutor Professor David Jackson and Director of Research, Professor Griselda Pollock.

9.45-11.00 (David Jackson)

Annika Christensen: (Re)inventing Tradition: Ballads in Contemporary Faroese Music
This talk will discuss the traditional ballads in the Faroe Islands and how they have been taken up in contemporary Faroese music. The basis for discussion will be some examples of contemporary songs that in some form appropriate Faroese balladry with contemporary music styles and will, furthermore, include a brief overview of the ballads, their historical background and their significance in Faroese culture.

Gesner Las Casas Brito Filho: Architectural elements of the fall of Lucifer in Oxford, Bodleian Library, Junius 11
This paper is part of my PhD Thesis: ‘The Relationship between the earthly world, heaven and hell in Oxford, Bodleian Library, Junius 11’. I will focus on the role of architecture in defining the relationship between heaven/paradise, earth and hell on images and texts of the initial pages of Junius 11. Oxford, Bodleian Library, Junius 11, one of the major Anglo-Saxon poetic manuscripts, has remained relatively complete until today, containing the four biblical poems: Genesis, Exodus, Daniel and, Christian and Satan.

Tom Hastings: Judson Dance, Robert Morris’s 21.3 (1964) and the Antihumanist Turn
What sort of politics of form is produced through New York’s swan song of European humanism? The workshop of the Judson Dance Theater (New York, 1962-64) generated a range of attitudes, images and style in conversation with disparate forms of cultural knowledge. To illustrate this, I will present Robert Morris’s 21.3 (1964) – a lecture or “dance” performance in which the artist disruptively lip-syncs over the émigré art historian Erwin Panofsky’s methodological treatise, “Iconography and Iconology” (1939).

11.00 – 11.30 Break

11.30- 1.00 (Griselda Pollock)

Rose-Anne Gush: Artistic Labour of the Body
My research addresses works by VALIE EXPORT and Elfriede Jelinek, focusing on attention given over to “the body” and subjectivity (in relation to Neue Subjectivität); specifically, the use of the body as a form of artistic labour, that I read in relation to Theodor Adorno’s concept. Working out from two of EXPORT’s performance films, concerned with the gendered body and conceptions of identity and non-identity, pleasure and pain, this paper proposes that by reading these works with a concept of artistic labour understood through Adorno (and Freud), this will enact a displacement of existing theories of the body (in art) derived from post-structuralism and the dominant conceptions of the body in art history. Through this exploration of the body in art and in critical theory this paper will also explore the broader turn towards the body in feminist art and literature, and will attempt to account for this as also marking a shift in the concept of art, after the 1960s.

Elspeth Mitchell: The figure of the girl and contemporary moving image art practices
The paper introduces a section of my project that focuses on the figure of the girl in moving image art practices, framed by encounters with the girl in literature, psychoanalysis and philosophy. Over the past twenty years there has been a shift in the practices of artists working in audio-visual and lens-based mediums that has seen the figure of the girl, or representations of girlhood, emerge as a major concern. Here I will explore the work of Chantal Akerman and Sadie Benning as instances where the figure of the girl might provide a site of interrogation and a productive arena to expand and refine our understanding of the critical questions of screening sexuality and subjectivity.

Gillian Park: Deciphering an ‘incomplete’ ‘feminist’ ‘photography’ project
What might we learn from a study of the Pavilion Women’s Photography Centre as an ‘incomplete’ project rather than a defunct one? By destabilising the terms ‘feminism’ and ‘photography’ and through Grounded Theory work with the Living Archive (Stuart Hall) my project challenges the ‘memory lapse’ (Helena Reckitt) of contemporary art and to understand art inflected by feminism as a critical intervention (Griselda Pollock) that continues to offer up possibilities for structural transformation. A new film, commissioned by the current-day Pavilion will be introduced as a device to open up the questions pertinent to this research.

13.00-14.00 Lunch (Room 104)

14.00-16.00 (Gail Day)

Tom Beesley: Art, the Architectonic and Functionality. Practice based fine art research.
Fundamentally, my practice-led research engages with, and is anchored in, technologies of production. During the first year of my research I have endeavoured to explore the object status of the artwork through the creation of provisional architectonic structures and installations that combine the found and the made, whilst addressing concerns regarding functionality, labour and resource use.

Jo McGonigal: Painting & Materiality: The affect of painting as a physical space
My research examines emergent new materialist theories and phenomenology of perception to try to get closer to understanding what that experience is, what a ‘painting’ does when the viewer is confronted with its physical material properties as a primary experience rather than referring to something other. By emptying painting of ‘image’ and placing the emphasis onto its material and physical structures and its engagement with space, painting as a subject of pure opticality becomes destabilized, triggering new modes of perception and bringing about changes in the relationship of painting to the viewer.

Jade French: Inclusive curatorship and its political potential?
During my practice-led study, a group of people with learning difficulties will be curating an arts exhibition, but what are the political implications of this practice? This paper draws upon curatorial practice as an act of critical selection and choice making which has potential political resonance for this particular group, who are often denied autonomy and choice over their own lives.

Carley Stubbs: Supporting Transitions: Attunement through Play
I am particularly interested in the transitional experiences of young adults with Learning Difficulties (LD). My research explores new possibilities for support work in these contexts. I am approaching this challenge from a post-critical perspective, adopting an ontological stance that examines both the “being” (Heidegger 1962) and “becoming” (Deleuze & Guattari 1987) of individuals and refutes static approaches to personhood. I am interested in embodied and emergent approaches to research/practice. I will facilitate Applied Theatre workshops that explore philosophies of being/becoming through immersive theatre techniques, using the body to evoke, describe and share subjective, lived experience.

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