History of Art


Art History Through the Prism of Fiction

13 October 2022, 5:30 pm–7:00 pm

Art History Through the Prism of Fiction

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Helena Vowles-Shorrock – History of Art


IAS Forum, Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)
South Wing
Wilkins Building

My talk takes as starting point my current writing project, a novel titled Urban Metabolism, to investigate the relations between art historical writing, curating and fiction. Looking back a at my earlier research into the work of Jean Dubuffet, at an exhibition on the legacies of Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex and contemporary art, and my first novel, The Sharing Economy, I will explore passages between fiction writing and research, world building and curating, in order to question under what conditions, for what purpose and to what ends fiction makes it possible to ‘do’ art history in other ways.

Location: IAS Forum, Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) South Wing (Wilkins Building)

About the Speaker

Dr Sophie Berrebi

Associate Professor (UD1) in the history of art at University of Amsterdam

Dr Sophie Berrebi is an author, exhibitions curator and art historian born in Paris and based in Brussels. She is an associate professor (UD1) in the history of art at the University of Amsterdam, where she teaches and researches photography, fashion, and contemporary art. She is the author of The Shape of Evidence, Contemporary art and the Document, (Valiz, 2015) and of Dubuffet and the City: People, Place and Urban Space (Hauser & Wirth Publishers, 2018), which received the 2019 Richard Schlagman award for best book of art history. Her recent exhibitions include Dubuffet and the City in 2018 and Seventy Years of the Second Sex: A Conversation between Works and Words (2022), both at Hauser & Wirth Zürich.  Her first novel, The Sharing Economy will be published in March 2023  by Scribner (Simon & Schuster).

More about Dr Sophie Berrebi