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Art History Residency Talk

Save the Date for our Inaugural Art History Residency Talk, presented in association with the University of Nottingham: 16 March, 4.30pm 

James Hellings is a Lecturer in Art at the University of Reading’s School of Art. He recently completed our inaugural Art History Residency provided in partnership with the Ampersand Foundation. Launched in 2020, the Residency offers researchers the opportunity for concentrated time to develop their work at Wigwell Lodge in the tranquil Derbyshire countryside. During his residency James has worked towards the completion of his second monograph on Theodor Adorno.

The Talk: Theodor W. Adorno on Film

According to Theodor W. Adorno’s aesthetic theory of film and cinema moving images are said to be based ‘on a subjective mode of experience which film resembles and which constitutes its artistic character’. In this talk, James Hellings highlights Adorno’s theory of film against a backdrop of mass media, and cinema against the culture industry, in historical terms. His interest lies in discussing artists’ film, video, and digital moving images and whether Adorno’s historical theory can help us think about these contemporary practices.

The pictures that constitute Alexander Kluge’s films are illuminating in this regard – as Kluge privileges film as taking place ‘in the head of the spectator,’ which, perhaps, suggests that – for both Adorno and Kluge – the spectators of film would do well to see by shutting their eyes, and filmmakers would do well to edit by opening their inner-eye.

During the talk, James will encourage the audience to think through some of the subjective modes of experience that may turn film experimental, creative, and artistic.

The talk will be hosted on Microsoft Teams at 4.30pm on 16 March by the Centre for Research in Visual Culture, University of Nottingham: digital access details here.

The talk is free to attend and all are welcome.

image: Björk talking about her TV, courtesy of YouTube.

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