The Joan and Martin Goldfarb
Summer Institute

May 2011

Presentations by candidates in York University's PhD Program in Visual Arts

All talks take place in Room 338, Joan & Martin Goldfarb Centre for Fine Arts, York University | Map

June Pak: "Relational Identity"
Tues. May 3 – 11:30am

The key notion of identity politics stems from recognizing the Self and the Other. However, it is hard to tell who is the Self and who is the Other in this age of globalization. By examining Korean artist Jung Yeondoo's participatory photo series, Pak reinvestigates the notion of Self and Other as co-existing entities rather than separate, self-identified groups. She uses Jung's work to illustrate a unique display of Korean identity formation that has complicated layers of colonization history and longing of the Other.

Elida Schogt: "Solid to Liquid"
Tues. May 3 – 12:15pm

Schogt looks at how the representation of solid-to-liquid state change presents a useful model when analyzing sculptural work that addresses the fluid nature of value attributed to creativity. She also considers the sociopolitical dynamics of art exhibition. Challenging the rigidity of art world power structures, works by Francis Alÿs and Germaine Koh serve to illustrate how fluidity in sculpture can amplify the permeability of boundaries.

Eshrat Erfanian: "The Art System: Theory as Medium and the Crisis of the Image"
Wed. May 4 – 11:30am

Erfanian raises questions about the present and the future state of art, the academy and the market: how they seem to be intertwined and how the border between art and entertainment has become blurrier than ever. She proposes that the role of "art theory" as strategy for making, teaching and selling art be shifted in order to re-evaluate the state of contemporary art.

Elle Flanders in discussion with guests Richard Fung and Emelie Chhangur: "Art and Activism"
Wed. May 4 – 12:15pm

Art and Politics: What does art do? What is the function of art within disaster capitalism? Hito Steyerl asks these questions and suggests that political art is not the politics "in" art, but rather political art is its very production. The question of what and how it functions are the politics we should be engaging with: art as labour, art as capitalism's convener and concomitant of its production, distribution and reception.

Richard Fung begins from Steyerl's analysis to ask what the stakes are for politics and for art in contemporary practices, while Elle Flanders addresses the nature of art in an era that distinguishes between the political and artistic production. Emelie Chhangur explores these questions through the concrete examples of a contemporary curatorial practice that seeks to change the nature and function of the contemporary art gallery by making it serve a social, rather than exclusively aesthetic, function.

Troy Ouellette: "Sound Materials/Sound Machines"
Wed. May 11 – 11:30am

As a material, the vinyl disc has featured prominently in the practice of many artists who have resisted the urge to move from analog to digital. This is made even more prescient by the 2010 exhibition The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl at the Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University. But vinyl is only part of the story. The idea of using machines and various recording materials has also held the fascination of artists from the Futurist to Fluxus movements, and to the very recent works of Katie Paterson and the duo Yoshihide and Aoyama. Ouellette focuses on the history of recording material and mechanisms going beyond turntablism to question the relationships between sounds, meaning and materials.


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