A critical exploration of how photography over-emphasises visuality, anchored in the activist tactics of glitch art and disability aesthetics.
This presentation revolves around ways in which photographs facilitate unruliness by revealing and resisting the rules that situate them. Two distinct visual tactics linked by their activist stance – glitch art and disability aesthetics – are brought together to raise a concern with a photography that over-stresses visuality yet takes it for granted. Attention is called here to how unruliness takes form and makes meaning in the interactions between photographers and photographic apparatuses: in material conditions, technical configurations, cultural conceptualizations and social practices. The aim of the talk is to point out the importance of being unruly in everyday life as much as in aesthetic exploration.
Processes of following and breaking rules are traced through perspectives drawn from art-historical image analysis informed by semiotics and phenomenology, media theory and disability studies. This approach captures how systems that define normality are integrated with one another to position images and the bodies they mediate. In a binary discourse, they either align with society’s normative structures or become the marginalized other that remains central by way of its exclusion from those structures. In response, images and bodies may be repositioned as unruly: a position from where we can critique definitions of normality which limit what human and nonhuman corporealities can be and do.
VENDELA GRUNDELL is a postdoctoral researcher with a PhD in Art History in the Department of Culture and Aesthetics at Stockholm University (2016). She is a Visiting Fellow at MCCS at Goldsmiths, with her postdoctoral project “Seeing Differently / Seeing Difference: Emancipation and Aesthetics in Photography by the Visually Impaired,” funded by the Anna Ahlström and Ellen Terserus Foundation at Stockholm University (2018-2019). Since 2012, she has been teaching art history, with a focus on visual technologies and digital cultures in academic and professional institutions. Publications include “Navigating Darkness: A Photographic Response to Visual Impairment” in Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies 14:3 (2018), Flow and Friction: On the Tactical Potential of Interfacing with Glitch Art (Art & Theory Publishing, 2016), and a chapter in Art and Photography in Media Environments (Lusófona University 2016). Vendela also works as a photographer, artist and writer, before which she trained as a dancer. Her creative commissions include some thirty exhibitions in Sweden and abroad. See also http://su.se/profiles/vegr2497-1.190180 and http://vendelagrundell.com.
The Photo Lab is a horizontal and collaborative research/practice unit at Goldsmiths, which explores the broadly conceived area of photography and the cognate forms of image-making.
Image credit: Kurt Weston The Vision Machine (left) and Evan Meaney To Hold a Future Body So Close to One’s Own (right)
Dates & times
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|22 Nov 2018
4:30pm - 6:00pm
Free and open to all, no need to book
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