Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien, Atelierhaus, Lehargasse 8, 1060 Wien, 1. OG Atelier Süd.
Whose Gaze? Questioning the Representation and Visibility of Blackness
AThis lecture by Sarah Owens (Zürich)
This lecture problematises contemporary views and depictions of blackness by considering questions of identity, visibility and representation. Taking as a starting point bell hook’s notion of the «oppositional gaze» of black female spectators that subverts the dominant (white) view of black bodies, I examine which perspectives we are asked to take when viewing current depictions of blackness in art, design, photography and film. These perspectives entail two dilemmas: that of achieving normalcy, when the prevailing idea of normalcy requires a gaze accepting only those experiences that can be attributed to one’s own social group, with dominant normalcies absorbing and assimilating non-dominant ones; and that of achieving visibility, when a gaze that focuses on an other that is deemed spectacular, reveals itself as laden with assumptions that render the formerly highly visible invisible. The lecture concludes with a discussion of how these dilemmas surface in activism and critique surrounding representation and what possibilities there are for assuming a position within this debate.
Sarah Owens is a graphic designer, design historian and design sociologist who focuses on the history, practice and mediation of typography and graphic communication, as well as the social and anthropological aspects of design.
She currently chairs the subject area and directs the graduate programme in Visual Communication at Zurich University of the Arts, where she has been teaching since 2009. She also heads the Visual Research Lab, which specialises in developing new aesthetics, methods, criteria and products in the area of Visual Communication.
21.06.2018 Emily Ngubia Kessé (Berlin)
28.06.2018 Fatima El-Tayeb (San Diego CA)
Organisiert und finanziert werden die Vorträge durch den Arbeitskreis für Gleichbehandlungsfragen, Akademie geht in die Schule, das Institut für Kunst und Kulturwissenschaften, das Institut für bildende Kunst und das PhD-in-Practice Programm der Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien, das Referat Genderforschung der Universität Wien und kulturen in bewegung/VIDC. Folgende Personen haben die Vortragsreihe zusammengestellt und sind verantwortlich: Simone Bader, Petja Dimitrova, Anna Janowiak, Annette Krauss, Sushila Mesquita, Günay Özayli, Abiona Esther Ojo, Ruth Sonderegger.