History of Art
We invite you to join our visual culture research seminar in which we hope to share and explore recent concerns with the past and its place in the present, a present increasingly over-invested in the value of the contemporary. With the critique of official histories and the conjoining of history and fiction behind us, we now confront new imperatives for what is at stake in thinking across historical, current and future perspectives. We start from the premise of the verb tense ‘past imperfect’, in which a past that is unfinished constantly challenges the idea of the ‘new’ and embraces the presentness of the past.
We will experiment with format and practice and hope to engage with current debates on changing conceptions of time, including history, modernity and memory.
All events will take place in Seminar Room 6, 21 Gordon Square unless otherwise stated.
Monday, 9 March 2015
Film - Colour - Technologies
Rainbow's Gravity (dir Mareike Bernien, Kerstin Schroedinger, Germany/UK 2014, 32 min)
Introduced by Kerstin Schroedinger
Elizabeth Watkins (University of Leeds)
‘Imaging the Antarctic: uncertainty, obsolescence and landscape in expedition films of the early 1900s’.
18:00-21:00 (including wine and nibbles break)
Monday, 9 February 2015
When the 'Preposterous' Meets the 'Obsolete': The Examples of Eleanor Antin and Philip Haas
Monday, 26 January 2015 - CANCELLED
Obsolescence in Microseconds:
How Trading Algorithms Affect Temporality
Professor N. Katherine Hayles, Duke University
This event was cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.
Monday, 10 November 2014
One for Sorrow, Two for Joy;
Obsolescent Histories and Hitchcock's Vertigo
Dr. Maria H. Loh, History of Art UCL
Monday, 24 November 2014
Film, Obsolescence and Rear Projection
Professor Laura Mulvey, Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image
Monday, 8 December 2014
Remaking Bodies / Remaking Films
A Discussion on Filmic technologies and Wax
We will view The Mystery of the House of Wax (1933), directed by Michael Curtiz using two colour Technicolor; and excerpts from the 1953 House of Wax (colour 3D), and the 2005 House of Wax
Friday, 21 March 2014, 3-6pm
Alexander Nemerov (Stanford University), The Lost Cause of Lewis Hine
Michael Ann Holly (Clark Art Institute), At the Still Point of the Painted World
The event will be followed by a reception
Monday, 10 March 2014, 6-8pm
Time and the Image
Workshop with various participants
Tuesday, 25 February 2014, 6-8pm
Media, Capture, and Radical Forgetting
Dr. Seb Franklin (King's College)
Monday, 27 January 2014, 6-8pm
- Friedrich A Kittler, 'Forgetting', pp. 88-116
- Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, 'The Enduring Ephemeral, or the Future is a Memory', Critical Enquiry, 2008, pp. 148-171
Friday, 13 December 2013, 3.30-8pm
Workshop: Posthumanism and the Viewing Subject
3.30 Introduction and welcome
3.45 Steve Baker (Emeritus Professor of Art History, University of Central Lancashire)
Is the Idea of Posthumanism of Any Use for Artists?
5.45 Tea Break
4.30 Jason Edwards (Professor of Art History, University of York)
The Circum-Polar World: Victorian Arctic Post-Humanism?
5.45 Jamie Lorimer (University Lecturer, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford)
Evoking Elephants: The Affective Logics of Moving Animal Imagery
Friday, 22nd November 2013, 6pm
The Past Imperfect seminar will be making a trip to the Michael Landy exhibition Saints Alive at the National Gallery to view the show, meet the artist and the curator. We'll meet just in front of the exhibit entrance.
Monday, 11 November 2013, 6pm
Bob Mills: "Cows, Martyrs and Other Animals"
Petra Lange-Berndt: "Swarming Fever"
Related text for discussion:
Giorgio Agamben The Open, trans. Kevin Attell, pp. 1-3, 13-16, 33-38.
Monday, 21 October 2013, 6pm
Joint reading discussion:
Derrida, That Animal Therefore I Am, trans. David Willis, pp. 1-52
Giorgio Agamben, The Open, trans. Kevin Attell (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2004), pp. 1-3, 13-16, 33-38.
Monday, 13 May 2013, 6pm
Filmscreeining of "Siliva Zulu" (1927)
a silent film by Attilo Gatti
(with Giuseppe p. Vitrotti, and advised by the anthropologist Lido Cipriani)
Introduced by Tamar Garb and followed by discussion.
Wednesday, 20 March
We regret that the session due to take place on Wednesday 20 March has been postponed to the summer term. Details will be announced as soon as possible.
Christopher Pinney: The Civil Contract of Photography in India
Related text for discussion:
Ariella Azoulay: The Civil Contract of Photography, MIT Press, pp. 88-135.
Monday, 4 March 2013, 6pm
Simon Werrett: Picturing Pyrotechnics
Related text for discussion:
Kevin Salatino: Incendiary Art: the Representation of Fireworks in Early Modern Europe, Los Angeles: Getty, 1997, pp. 1-45.
Monday, 4 February 2013, 6pm
Filmscreening of Alain Resnais' Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959) introduced by Rose Marie San Juan
Monday, 21 January 2013, 6pm
Marcia Pointon Artefacts at the Edge - Thinking about Death Masks
Related text for discussion: George Didi-Huberman, L'Empreinte, pp. 52-72,
or alternatively Didi-Huberman, 'The Molding Image'.
Tuesday 4 December 2012, 6.15 pm
Public Sphere/Public Space: Historical entanglements and current possibilities
A discussion with short presentations by
Rose Marie San Juan and Fred Schwartz
Related texts: Oskar Negt and Alexander Kluge, The Public Sphere and Experience, Judith Butler, The Politics of the Street.
Tuesday 30 October 2012, 6.15 pm
Derek Jarman's Medievalism
The Spectacle of History: Peter Watkin's La Commune (Paris, 1871)
Tuesday 9 October 2012, 6.15 pm
This seminar will examine debates associated with
Bruno Latour’s We have never been Modern (1991)
Iconoclash|Rubbish: Collecting and Colonialism
Contagious Contacts: Dermatological Wax Moulages and the Never-Modern Indexical Image