Simpozij → Seminar sodobnih scenskih umetnosti

Amelia Jones: Yearning for Presence: The Live Body in History

Public Lecture

Public lecture Within the Seminar of Contemporary Performing Arts organised by Maska and City of Women (19th International Festival of Contemporary Arts City of Women Festival)

Monday, October 7th at 8 pm
Škuc Gallery, Stari trg 21, Ljubljana

Western aesthetics has, since the inception of the notion of art in the early modern period, pivoted around a belief in presence, in the artist as divinely inspired genius who invests the art work with ongoing“presence”, forever recalling his subjectivity and being through the forms and appearance of the work.  Such claims of “presence”, as Jacques Derrida has pointed out, are motivated by the desire to substantiate the superiority of humans, and to deny the inexorability of our mortality. In this schema, which came to its apotheosis but also began to be challenged in European modernism, art becomes the means through which we imagine our transcendence. At the same time, performance studies has also begun to rely on claims of“presence”, but in the case of live art, to claim authenticity – if “the artist is present,” then we presumably have full access to her “being” and thus an “authentic” experience of the artist/other.  This paper takes apart both sets of claims, using specific examples from art and performance to show the impossibility of presence as a truth claim. (Amelia Jones)

Lecture will be in English.

Organisation: Maska Institute; In collaboration with: City of Women, Škuc Gallery.

Free entry.


About lecturer

Amelia Jones is a Professor and Grierson Chair in Visual Culture at McGill University. Her recent publications include essays on performance art histories and theories, queer feminist art and theory, and feminist curating. In 2012, she published Seeing Differently: A History and Theory of Identification and the Visual Artsand Perform Repeat Record: Live Art in History, co-edited with Adrian Heathfield. Her exhibition Material Traces: Time and the Gesture in Contemporary Art took place in 2013 at Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery, Concordia University, in Montreal. . 


— 07-10-2013 : Amelia Jones: Yearning for Presence: The Live Body in History
Škuc Gallery, Stari trg 21, Lubljana
Maska & City of Woman