Literatuur en ‘wij’: The challenge of community in contemporary art from the Low Countries

Start: Sep 10, 2014 05:30 PM
End: Sep 10, 2014 07:30 PM

Location: Gustave Tuck lecture theatre, Wilkins Building, Gower Street, WC1E 6BT

Dr Henriëtte Louwerse from the University of Sheffield will give the opening lecture of the 10th biennial conference of the Association for Low Countries Studies. The lecture will be followed by a reception in the North Cloisters.

"Community, like culture, is a problematic, inaccurate and fluid term that nonetheless wields tremendous power in its ability to conjure up connotations of warmth, sharing, understanding, recognition and even healing. Community is often mobilized to give expression to an ideal, a promise of oneness, of ‘a fusion of multiple individuals into one subject position’ (Lee 2009: 2). However it is exactly this promise of fusion that is also suspect: warmth becomes stifling; sharing turns into suppression of difference; and oneness the embodiment of totalitarian logic.

Much contemporary art and literature responds to this universal tension between the need for individuality and the desire to belong. In this contribution I will look at the response to the challenge of community in the work of two contemporary artists, Francis Alÿs and Hafid Bouazza."

The full conference programme can be found on the conference website.