Thursday, 7 November 2013

Shifting Dialogues II: Sexual Artifice in Asian Art and Performance

The Asian Art and Performance Consortium (AAPC) of the Academy of Fine Arts (Kuva) and the Finnish Theatre Academy Helsinki (Teak) hosted a symposium focusing on manifestations of sex, sexuality and gender in Asian art and performance on 17-19 October. This was the second symposium organized under the ongoing research project, Shifting Dialogues. The project is funded by the Academy of Finland in 2011-2014.

Following the focus on “The Politics of Site, Locality & Context in Performance and Visual Arts” last year, this year’s project targets at issues of sexual embodiment and gender subjectitivy in Asian/Asiatic art-practice with emphasis on performance arts, film, video art, installation, live art, and dialogical work.

In his paper “Troubled Objects of Nationalism and Masculinity”, Cüneyt Çakırlar explored the role of scalar, regional, and global/international discourses in contemporary art criticism. Cüneyt’s paper discussed the practice of a selection of artists producing work from/on/about the Middle East (Erinç Seymen, Taner Ceylan, Akram Zaatari, Slavs and Tatars, etc.). Questioning their critical use of geo-political location, region and scale in their aesthetic framework, Cüneyt talked about performative, transregional methodological/theoretical approaches to globalized art forms, which would contextualize, if not re-enact, the ways in which these artistic subjectivities inhabit the world.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Signs and Symptoms of the Mad Genius

In a new article, Simon Cross explores whats at stake in the representation of the 'mad genius'.
He argues that the madman is a protean figure in the popular imagination slipping through in dreams, fairytales, ballads, paintings, sculpting, literature, and as this chapter discusses, more recently in cinema as the mad genius in films. The chapter argues that madness and genius in films like Shine must be seen and understood concomitantly as each symbolises our culture’s fascination with the boundaries and limits of our own mental functioning. The signs of mad genius in film reveal creativity out of the chaos of symptoms. The conclusion argues that the meaning of the mad genius is heroic, strangely special, and utterly mythic. 

Simon Cross (2013) ‘Signs and Symptoms of the Mad Genius'. In Julian McDougall and Pete Bennett (Eds.) Myth Today and Together: Theory under Reconstruction (Routledge, 2013)