Lecture by Leonida Kovač: Disenacting Transversals

04Oct2017 17:00 - 19:00


The lecture presents a segment of my research of the working title History as a Topic of Contemporary Art which focuses on procedures by which certain contemporary art practices undermine hegemonic discourses, including the discourse of academic discipline of art history and art criticism.

Relying on Benjamin’s concept of image as articulated in his theses On the Concept of History, Deleuze’s elaboration of non-chronological time and Mieke Bal’s comprehension of a memory as a special kind of focalization, as an “act of ‘vision’ of the past, but as an act, situated in the present of a memory”, I am introducing a concept of disenactment. Disenactment is understood as a process that is performatively opposite to imaging or representation, but in their relationship imaging and disenactment do not exclude each other. Indeed, they occur simultaneously. Disenactment does away with the ability unambiguously to identify the visible scene: in the process of disenactment an immersion in the uncanny that is neither subject nor object occurs. To exemplify the agency of the disenacting transversals that relate on the first sight unrelated phenomena as well as mutually remote spaces and times I would offer my reading of works by two contemporary artists, Dorothy Cross and Mrđan Bajić, which on very different ways articulate the questions on the complex relations existing between the notions of image, time, body and materiality of medium.

Leonida Kovač, PhD is an art historian, theorist and curator who works as the associate professor at the University of Zagreb - Academy of Fine Arts, where she lectures Art History, Contemporary Art and Contemporary Theories. She also lectures Intermedial Art Practices at the Doctoral Studies in Literature, Performing Arts, Film and Culture at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. From 1993 to 2008 she worked as curator and chief curator in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb. She has published the following books: Konteksti (Contexts), 1997; Kodovi identiteta (Codes of Identity), 2001; Edita Schubert, 2001; Relacionirane stvarnosti (Relationalized Realities), 2007; Gorki Žuvela: Izmislite sebe (Gorki Žuvela: Invent Yourself), 2009; Anonimalia:Normativni diskursi i samoreprezentacija umjetnica 20. stoljeća (Anonimalia: Normative Discourses and Self-representation of 20th Century Women Artists), 2010; In the Mirror of the Cultural Screen: Jagoda Kaloper, 2013; Tübingenska kutija: Eseji o vizualnoj kulturi i biopolitici (The Tübingen Box: Essays on Visual Culture and Biopolitics), 2013.

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