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Conference Session 4

Saturday 12 June 10.30-12.30

Chaired Dr. Simon Baker (Curator of Photography, Tate Modern)
Assistant Professor Susan Laxton (History of Art, UC Riverside)
As Photography: Abstraction and Automatism in Gerhard Richter’s Overpainted Snapshots
Gerhard Richter’s exploration of painting “as photography,” repeatedly restaged as an engagement between photography, chance, and the suspension of control over the image, on one hand, and painting, aesthetic attention and the artist’s will on the other, becomes explicit in his overpainted snapshots. These works, composed entirely of dejecta, ask us to consider the possibility that, beyond the most obvious attributes of these mediums, lie their shared and repressed irrationalities – compelling us to look for meaning in the politics of heteronomy.
Susan Laxton is Assistant Professor of the History of Photography at University of California, Riverside. Her work on play in the visual arts can be found in October, Papers of Surrealism, and scattered among a number of recent anthologies. Currently she is a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, where she is finishing a book on the ludic strategies of the interwar avant-gardes.
Professor Margaret Iversen (Art History and Theory, University of Essex)
Analogue: On Tacita Dean and Zoe Leonard
It is significant that both Leonard and Dean have recently produced exhibitions simply titled Analogue. Current debates concerning artistic agency and automatism often hinge on the difference between digital and analogue photographic processes. This is so because some prominent contemporary artists produce photographs which foreground intentionality through digital manipulation. The debate is joined in this paper through the work of two artists who attach great value to the analogue image and the chance encounter.
Margaret Iversen is Professor in the Department of Art History and Theory, University of Essex, England. Her most recent books are Beyond Pleasure: Freud, Lacan, Barthes, 2007 and Chance. Her other published books include Alois Riegl: Art History and Theory (1993); Mary Kelly (1997). co-edited Photography after Conceptual Art for Art History, 32:5 (2009)and Art and Thought (2003). Writing Art History (co-authored with Stephen Melville) is forthcoming from Chicago. She is Director (with Diarmuid Costello) of the AHRC research project, “Aesthetics after Photography.”