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Casino Luxembourg


9.1.2007 Les Mardis de l’Art

Les Mardis de l'Art - Contemporary visual arts and the représentation of disease

Lecture by Effie Komninou

Cultural debates over the last thirty years have recognised this theme as a continuous category in western visual culture arguing that the "image of disease" has been employed in order to stigmatise, isolate and control. The 1980s generated a new form a cultural activism directly employing the figurative category of the "patient" as the contested space around which the politics of representation evolve. This period marked a re-politicisation of the art world and formulated a quest for a decentred human subjectivity, a visually declared need of recognition, aesthetically and politically mobilised upon the representation of illness. The aim of the lecture is to examine how this activist aesthetic may still be relevant to and part of contemporary artistic production. The predicament is how the visualisation of the 'patient' on the museums' walls today may enable the shift from setting out another iconography of disease, into opening up questions of representation and meaning.

Effie Komninou is pursuing a PhD from the Department of Cultural Policy and Management, School of Arts at City University, London. She holds an MA in Arts Criticism and Management and a BA in Photography. She works as an independent writer and curator in Greece and regularly collaborates with Apeiron Photos photo library on photography exhibitions and publications.