The Representation of Memory: After 2001

October 17, 2018

Wednesday 17 October from 3.00 – 5.00 pm

Regent’s University London

Inner Circle, Regent’s Park

London NW1 4NS

This seminar will focus on work in progress relating to the Representation of Memory. The seminar will provide an open forum for discussion.

The seminar will comprise two 30 minute presentations followed by group discussion. Tamsin Silvey (Birkbeck, University of London), explores ‘Conflict Photography and White Walls’. In 2014, Tate Modern displayed Conflict Time Photography, an exhibition of war photographs. In 2017, the Imperial War Museum London programmed Age of Terror: Art Since 9/11, an exhibition of contemporary art including photography. These exhibitions seem symptomatic of a trend in positioning conflict photographs as art within both art and heritage institutions. The paper will compare how photographs were presented these exhibitions, making this positioning evident.

The second presentation will be by Kirsten Adkins (University of Wolverhampton) on ‘A Safe Delivery of Harm’ which discusses the language of altruism and self-improvement found in army recruitment advertisements since 2001. Drawing on the writings of Walter Benjamin, Hannah Arendt and Simone Weil, her practice-based research utilises film-making and dance to visualise the relationship between (collective) memory and forgetting, denial and spectacle, the hidden and the revealed, trauma and disavowal.

Participants are welcome to stay for the film screening from 6.00-7.30 pm of The Destruction of Memory, a 2016 documentary on cultural destruction including interviews with the Director-General of UNESCO, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, and many international experts. The screening will be followed by a Q & A with the film’s director Tim Slade.

This is the third in an ongoing series of seminars designed to bring together scholars working on the representation of memory in the visual arts. It is particularly aimed at PhD students and post-docs to establish a network for those working on related material and to exchange thoughts around their research.

There is no fee, however you are required to register by 15 October with your name and institutional affiliation. Please email Dr Deborah Schultz, Senior Lecturer in Art History