All posts tagged: opacity

Contributors / Issue 22: Opacity

Guillermina De Ferrari (PhD Columbia University) is professor of Spanish and Director of the Center for Visual Cultures at University of Wisconsin-Madison. She specializes on Caribbean literature and visual culture. Her book Vulnerable States: Bodies of Memory in Contemporary Caribbean Fiction (2007) studies the trope of the vulnerable body in contemporary Caribbean literature. Her book Community and Culture in Post-Soviet Cuba (Routledge, 2014) analyzes recent Cuban narrative and photography from the point of view of contract theory and postmodern ethics. She curated the exhibition Apertura: Photography in Cuba Today held at the Chazen Museum of Art (March 6-June 21, 2015). Shalom Gorewitz (b. 1949, Queens, NY) has been working experimentally with computers and video since 1967.  A student of Nam June Paik’s at California Institute of the Arts (BFA, 1971), he is considered a pioneer in the medium.  His work is in permanent collections of several international museums and has been shown in festivals, galleries, and on television in the US, Europe, Japan, Australia, and Africa.  He has received fellowships from Fulbright and Guggenheim Foundations.  He is Professor of Video Art and …

Provincial Matters

Janet Wolff This essay returns me to Rochester, thirteen years after I left. It also returns me to a mild obsession I developed in my last year in Rochester with the artist Kathleen McEnery Cunningham, and with the fascinating social and cultural world of Rochester in the 1920s. I curated an exhibition of McEnery’s work at the Hartnett Gallery at the University of Rochester in 2003, and advised on another in New York a couple of years later. The essay will also be a chapter of a book I am completing, entitled Austerity Baby, which is part memoir, part family history, part cultural history. Two other chapters were published in 2013: one in the collection Writing Otherwise (edited by Jackie Stacey and Janet Wolff, published by Manchester University Press), and another here in the online literary journal, The Manchester Review. * * * The American artist Kathleen McEnery Cunningham presided at the center of a lively cultural scene in Rochester, New York, in the 1920s and 30s. In 1914, she had married Francis Cunningham, then …

Hold It Against Me: Difficulty and Emotion in Contemporary Art

Reviewed By Amanda DuPreez Jennifer Doyle. Hold It Against Me: Difficulty and Emotion in Contemporary Art. Durham: Duke University Press, 2013. 243 pages. How can we respond to artworks that make us downright uncomfortable? What kind of thinking allows viewers to make sense of art that comes in the form of emotionally challenging physical encounters? How might one engage with an artist who only wants to hold you, as Adrian Howells does in Held (2006), a performance piece where he spoons the audience one by one? Posing these questions in her recent book, Hold It Against Me: Difficulty and Emotion in Contemporary Art, cultural scholar Jennifer Doyle searches for the politics embedded in artworks that relay their message through emotion not as a means of “narcissistic escape, but of social engagement” (xi). For Doyle, emotional and difficult works do not operate under modernist pretenses or require specific expertises in order to unlock their meaning. On the contrary, such works mostly come in accessible and mundane guises. Therein lies their potency. Despite its accessibility, however, difficult art …

CFP InVisible Culture, Issue 22: Opacity

“Opacity” – Issue 22 (Download PDF) For its twenty-second issue, InVisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture invites scholarly articles and creative works that address the multiple meanings of opacity. In the spring of 2013, former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden began releasing documents pertaining to the wide-ranging data collection methods of the National Security Agency. Alternately hailed as hero and traitor, Snowden’s actions have fueled intense public debate regarding issues of privacy and transparency. For Issue 22, we would like contributors to consider the tension between transparency and opacity and reflect on the cultural and political contexts that gave rise to their connotations of openness and secrecy. What does it mean to claim either as a right? The late writer, poet, and critic Édouard Glissant (1928-2011) developed a model of opacity as a means of creating ethical relationships, writing in Poetics of Relation, “Transparency no longer seems like the bottom of the mirror in which Western humanity reflected the world in its own image. There is opacity now at the bottom of the …