"Feminism and Art theory now" with Griselda Pollock and Angela Dimitrakaki


Practical information

Event in English
Reservation required
5 €

Event overview

Feminism and Art theory now
With Griselda Pollock and Angela Dimitrakaki, moderated by Lara Demori 
Lectures and Panel discussion  


6.00 pm                 
Welcome by Ulrich Wilmes

6.15 pm                  
Introduction by Lara Demori 

6.30 pm                  
Griselda Pollock
Lecture: “Action, Activism and Art and/as Thought: A dialogue with the artworking of Sonia Khurana and Sutapa Biswas and the political theory of Hannah Arendt.”  

7.00 pm                  
Angela Dimitrakaki
Lecture: "Feminism and the Critique of the Political Economy of Art"  

7.30 pm                  
Panel Discussion with Grisleda Pollock and Angela Dimitrakaki, moderated by Lara Demori.

In 1971, Linda Nochlin published the ground-breaking essay ‘Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?’; she analysed how gender influenced the production and reception of art, investigating the predominance of white male artists in the Western art world and the status of women artists whom have been historically prevented from gaining an equal education and developing their talent. Both Nochlin and Griselda Pollock have further questioned the label of ‘Genius’ as constantly associated to white male artists, unfolding the privileges inherent to the use of this terminology.
In mid-eighties scholars like Audre Lorde and Bell Hooks addressed the absence of women of colour in feminist art discourses, calling for the importance of intersectionality in such discussions. Likewise Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Gayatri Spivak, and Gloria E. Anzaldúa among others advocated for a more comprehensive feminist analysis, capable of taking into account women from postcolonial countries, doubly colonized by both imperial and patriarchal ideologies.
Current state of feminist criticism appears as crossed by different narratives, to the point that Pollock compares the relation between third wave and second wave feminism as the one between the ‘mother’ and the ‘envious daughter’ – understood in Oedipal terms. She therefore observes: ‘To create transregional democratic space for the continuing virtuality of feminism, we need historical understanding of feminism itself that is different from the currently fracturing caricature of generations at war and waves of novelty’. On this matter, recent literature (Dimitrakaki, Lloyd) exploring approaches to social reproduction in art history has challenged the presence of multiple feminisms ‘to invite some sort of compromise, some sort of accommodation of the diversity of positions in order to forge inclusivity’.
Coinciding with the exhibition ‘Kiki Smith: Procession’ - whose art often focuses on a visceral and almost disturbed representation of biblical or mythological heroines - this talk aims to put in conversation different generations of feminist art historians discussing contemporary approaches of feminist art criticism and its relation to the ‘story’ of feminism and feminist art itself.  
Current state of feminism criticism appears as crossed by different narratives -‘waves’ - that contributed to the creation of multiple feminisms, sometimes sharing difficult relations with one another. Following from these premises, this talks aims to put in conversation different generations of feminist art historians discussing contemporary approaches to feminist art criticism and its relation to the history of feminism itself.

Griselda Pollock is Professor of Social and Critical Histories of Art and Director of the Centre for Cultural Analysis, Theory and History (CentreCATH) at the University of Leeds.
Committed to creating and extending an international- postcolonial- queer- feminist analysis of the visual arts, visual culture and cultural theory, her work focusses on trauma and aesthetic transformation by developing Aby Warburg's concept of the pathosformula for the study of art since 1945: After-affects /After-images: Trauma and Aesthetic Transformation (Manchester University Press, 2013) and for curatorial work and ‘art writing after the event’: Art in the Time-Space of Memory and Migration - Sigmund Freud, Anna Freud and Bracha Ettinger (Freud Museum and Wild Pansy Press, 2013). Since 2011 she has published extensively on the political aesthetics of concentrationary memory developed in relation to Hannah Arendt’s post-war analysis of the totalitarian as the political assault on democracy and the human condition creating the necessity for a vigilant political memory: Concentrationary Cinema (Berghahn, 2011) Concentrationary Memories: Totalitarian Terror and Cultural Resistance (I. B. Tauris, 2013) and Concentrationary Imaginaries: Tracing Totalitarian Violence in Popular Culture (I. B. Tauris, 2015 and, forthcoming, Concentrationary Art: Jean Cayrol, the Lazarean and the Everyday in Post-war Film, Literature, Music and the Visual Arts, (Berghahn, 2018), all edited with Max Silverman.  She is currently analyzing the ‘bad’ (politically destructive) cultural memory of feminism with specific reference to feminist interventions in art and art history in Is Feminism a Bad Memory?, (Verso, 2018) and writing a feminist Warburgian reading of the agency and image-making of Marilyn Monroe at the intersection of cinema, photography, visual arts and cultural memory (Monroe’s Mov(i)e: Class, Gender and Nation in the work, image-making and agency of Marilyn Monroe,  2019). For which several articles have already been published in Journal of Visual Culture, Journal of Visual Art Practice and a collection on Gesture in Film (Chare & Watkins, 2017). Just published is her major monograph on the monumental painting cycle, Leben? Oder Theater? (1941-42) by Charlotte Salomon (1917-43): Charlotte Salomon in the Theatre of Memory (Yale University Press, 2018), and she is completing her long-term project: The Case against “Van Gogh”: Place, Memory and the Retreat from the Modern (Thames & Hudson, 2019).

Angela Dimitrakaki is a writer and Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Art History and Theory at the University of Edinburgh where she co-directs the MSc Modern and Contemporary Art and the Global Contemporary research group. Her books include Economy: Art, Production and the Subject in the 21st Century (2015, co-edited with Kirsten Lloyd), Gender, ArtWork and the Global Imperative (2013), Politics in a Glass Case: Feminism, Exhibition Cultures, and Curatorial Transgressions (2013, co-edited with Lara Perry), Art and Globalisation: From the Postmodern Sign to the Biopolitical Arena (2013, in Greek). In 2016, she co-edited a special volume on Social Reproduction for Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory, and in 2017, a special issue on Social Reproduction and Art for Third Text, for which she is now co-editing a special issue on antifascist art theory, forthcoming in 2019. In 2017, she was the recipient of an Academy of Athens award for her fiction writing.