2009-2010 LIVE/ART/HISTORY Lecture Series
LIVE/ ART/ HISTORY is a guest lecture series sponsored by the Department of Art History at SCAD. This year’s new conceptualization builds on a fourteen year history of guest lecturing for the department. The series invites emerging and established artists and scholars to present their current projects and research at Wednesday evening lectures, 6:30pm in Arnold Hall Auditorium. All guest speakers are invited to join interested students for an informal tea on Thursday afternoons, the day after the talk, at Smithfield Cottage. LIVE/ ART/ HISTORY highlights the active engagement of art history and visual studies with art production. It presents the history of art as a living, and live(d), constantly changing, energetic field by seeking guest speakers whose work will respond to SCAD Art History’s own dynamic curriculum and whose work has been inspired by a broad, interdisciplinary range of inquiry. LIVE/ ART/ HISTORY will invite guests from all over the world and also SCAD professors and the public, encouraging field trips and learning opportunities for all SCAD students and faculty by intentionally seeking a forum for the exchange of ideas.
For additional information:
Susan Falls, Ph.D.
“Signs of Art”
Wednesday, September 30, 2009, 6:30 p.m.
Arnold Hall Auditorium
Historically, the “wall-dogs” who hand-painted commercial signs developed recognizable personal styles. In Savannah, hand-painted signs, unique in terms of font and palette as well as thematic content and form, have marked everything from churches and barber shops to hardware stores and restaurants, places that represented central nodes in the production of vibrant society. These signs, now made mainly by and for African-Americans, are disappearing in the face of largely white gentrification and development, and with it, a mode of delineating sites of community-making, regional aesthetic sensibilities, a local artistic vernacular. As one local resident put it, “it is as if Savannah has been frozen, and now that it is heating up, the façade is literally melting away.”
Art? Sign? Just what are these objects? How do they accrue value? What reading strategies do they invite? The lecture I will be presenting explores the transformation of signs into commercially profitable “outsider art,” which simultaneously seeks to maintain “authenticity” and preserve “pieces” by, ironically, removing them from their original context, and as lenses through which to understand the construction of value by situating them, intensely, within their original sites. In particular, I discuss how contemporary battles over the practical treatment of these signs reflect historical conflicts based upon a racialized political economy of difference.
Start looking for your own examples of these terrific artifacts – they are all over town!
BIO: Susan Falls has a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from CUNY-Graduate Center in New York. Her work focuses on social conditions at the intersection of expressive activity, political economy and semiotics: recent projects analyzed transnational artisan partnerships (TAPs), commercial art/signage, and diamonds. She teaches Anthropology at Savannah College of Art and Design.
Mia Fineman, Ph.D.
“Our Lady of the Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Other Artful Apparitions”
Wednesday, October 7, 6:30 p.m.
Arnold Hall Auditorium
In 2004, a grilled cheese sandwich bearing an image that some perceived as an apparition of the Virgin Mary sold for $28,000 on eBay. This lecture will consider the deep-seated human tendency to see faces in inanimate objects – rocks, clouds, inkblots, sandwiches – and what this might tell us about the origins of art and the sources of creative inspiration. Among the topics to be addressed in this wide-ranging talk are animal mimicry, Rorschach blots, Leonardo’s Treatise on Painting, Mantegna’s clouds, the Surrealism of Max Ernst and Salvador Dali, the low-tech illusionism of contemporary artists Mark Tansey and Vik Muniz, and a very special three million year-old pebble.
BIO: Mia Fineman is Senior Research Asssociate in the Department of Photographs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Since joining the Metropolitan in 1997, she has organized numerous exhibitions, including Richard Avedon: Portraits (2002), On Photography: A Tribute to Susan Sontag (2006), and Reality Check: Truth and Illusion in Contemporary Photography (2008). Fineman writes frequently about art and culture for the New York Times and Slate, and has contributed essays to monographs on Walker Evans, Gabriel Orozco, Sean Scully, and others. She is currently at work on three projects: an exhibition tracing the history of doctored images before Photoshop, an oral history of Richard Avedon, and a book about cell phone photography.
Juli Carson, Ph.D.
Five Paragraphs on LeWitt: Towards a Critical Aesthetics in Contemporary Art
Wednesday, January 13, 2010, 6:30 p.m.
Arnold Hall Auditorium
A “manifesto” style text calling for a critical aesthetics in contemporary art, Carson’s “Five Paragraphs on LeWitt” addresses the legacy of 60s Conceptualism today. Along the way, Conceptualism is reinvisioned as a “medium of critique” rather than a dead movement. Carson further calls for a renewed psychoanalytic branch of Conceptualism, one inspired by French post-structuralist Roland Barthes, that takes up issues of memory and history, subjectivity and gender, Diaspora and race. These are the main themes of a book Carson is writing, The Conceptual Unconscious: A Poetics of Critique.
BIO: Juli Carson is Associate Professor in the Studio Art Department at UCI where she teaches Critical and Curatorial practice in Contemporary Art and directs the University Art Gallery. She was curator of Exile of the Imaginary: Politics, Aesthetics, Love (Vienna: Generali Foundation, 2007) and an archival exhibition on Mary Kelly’s Post-Partum Document (Vienna: Generali Foundation, 1998). Her essays on conceptualism and psychoanalysis have been published in Art Journal, Documents, October, Texte Zur Kunst and X-Tra, as well as in numerous critical anthologies. She is also a Creative Capital Fellow for 2008, for which she is producing a film with Bruce Yonemoto on the Argentine Conceptual artist and psychoanalytic critic, Oscar Masotta.
Kristine Stiles, Ph.D. THIS TALK HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FOR TUESDAY, APRIL 6 AT 6:30PM
Arnold Hall Auditorium
In her lecture ‘Props for the Memory’, or Joseph Beuys and the Legacy of Fascism, Professor Kristine Stiles considers the life and work of Joseph Beuys in the context of his participation in and perpetrated of war on the side of the Third Reich, despite being celebrated as the only German artist of the post-1945 period who ranked with Picasso, Duchamp, and Warhol as a master of 20th Century art.
BIO: Kristine Stiles is professor of Art, Art History & Visual Studies at Duke University. She is a specialist in contemporary art and theory, and internationally recognized for her scholarship on performance art, as well as destruction, violence, and trauma in art. She is the recipient of numerous fellowships, including a J. William Fulbright to Romania and a John Simon Guggenheim for her work on documentary photography of the nuclear age. She has taught and lectured nationally and internationally on the subject of “cultures of trauma,” the term she coined in 1993 to theorize visual representations of trauma in art, literature, film, and society. Stiles is co-editor with Peter Selz of Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of Artists’ Writings (1996), forthcoming in 2010 in a revised, expanded 2nd edition for which Stiles is the sole editor. She authored numerous artists’ monographs; published widely in international art journals, exhibition catalogues, and artist’s books, including most recently in Marina Abramovic (Phaidon Press, 2008) and Chris Burden (Merrell and Locus Plus, 2007). Stiles’ forthcoming books include: Correspondence Course: An Epistolary History of Carolee Schneemann and her Circle (Duke University Press 2010); Concerning Consequences of Trauma in Art and Culture (University of Chicago Press, 2011); Uncorrupted Joy: Art Actions, History, and Social Value (University of California Press, 2011); and World Art Since 1945 (co-authored with Kathy O’Dell, Laurence King Publishers 2014). Stiles is also an artist and equestrian.