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UCL Mellon Programme: Interdisciplinary Seminar 2008-2009

Translations/Transpositions - Intergeneric Translation

Seminar: 11 February 2009 (Chair: Dr Cüneyt Çakirlar, more ... )

Portraiture: Faces and Stains

Dr Murat Aydemir, Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis (more ... )


Francis Bacon’s Portrait of George Dyer in a Mirror (1967-8) refuses to offer the recognizable face of George Dyer that the title of the painting promises. Hence, the work is not so much a portrait as it is ‘about’ portraiture, suggesting a reappraisal of the genre that commences with the disarticulation of the connections between portrait, mirror, and face. That reappraisal inevitably encounters as its main resistance the formless white stains of paint on the painting’s surface. Bacon’s painterly juxtaposition of formless stains and elusive faces invites a reconsideration of portraiture as an art historical genre and a sociocultural function that circumscribes the intelligibility of the human. In my presentation, I pursue that reconsideration through a set of heuristic dialogues between Bacon’s Portrait and what I regard as other defacing ‘portraits,’ taken from literature (Proust), theory (Lacan), and pornography.


This page last modified 26 September, 2012 by UCL Mellon Admin

Book cover: Muamma

Book cover: Unpacking the collection

imag: book cover, Federica  Mazzara

Discursive Constructions of Identity in European Politics

Singing Poets: Literature and Popular Music in France and Greece (1945-1975)

Northern Constellations: New Readings in Nordic Cinema by Claire Thomson, UCL Mellon Fellow (2004-2006)

Mediating the Nation by Mirca Madianou, UCL Mellon Fellow (2002-2004)

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