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Day Seven: Helen GRACE 葛海崙

Aesthetics and Political Creativity: the Artist as Future Producer






IIn this session, we will consider the archeology of Walter Benjamin’s 1934 essay, ‘The Author as Producer’ and its subsequent ‘reactivation’ in the 1960s in collective work, alongside more recent encounters with its arguments in the developments of global contemporary art as critical practice. Here, we will use Okwui Enwezor’s reflections on the essay’s legacy, alongside some speculations on specific artistic practices and the relations between the collective imaginary, collaborative practices, the critique of the reification of art and the commodification of the artist. These questions will be examined through the emphasis on creative expression and expressivity within contemporary mass movements. And the extent to which such movements disrupt the narrative of commodification.

Texts to read:

Benjamin, Walter, 1934, ‘The Author as Producer’ in Understanding Brecht, Verso, 1998, 85-103
Enwezor, Okwui, 2004, ‘The Artist as Producer in Times of Crisis Accessed Jan 24th, 2016

Helen GRACE 葛海崙 is Associate, Department of Gender & Cultural Studies, University of Sydney. She was Founding Director of the MA Programme in Visual Culture Studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong and from Jan 2016 - April 2016 was Visiting Scholar, Department of Cultural and Religious Studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her books include Culture, Aesthetics and Affect in Ubiquitous Media: The Prosaic Image (Routledge, 2014) and most recently Technovisuality, Cultural Reenchantment and the Experience of Technology (I.B Tauris, 2016) (co-edited with Amy Chan Kit Tse and Wong Kin Yuen. She is an artist and new image producer and her most recent works include Map of Spirits (2015), commissioned by Gallery 4A, Sydney and Romance (2015). She has been a member of the Jury selecting artist residencies for ISEA Hong Kong and is a member of the Film Advisory Panel, Sydney International Film Festival.

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