Speaker Bios

Sara Blaylock is a PhD Candidate in the Visual Studies doctoral program at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Her dissertation, “Sovereign Bodies: Performance Art, Photography, Super-8 Film, and Outlaw Galleries from the East German Margins,” examines the role that material and cultural privation played in the development of experimental artistic practice in East Germany in the 1980s. Specifically, it evaluates how performance artists, photographers, and amateur filmmakers who placed the human body at the fore of their practices, as well as the gallerists who repurposed space to host these experiments used the most immediate materials at hand (their physical bodies) to expand their cultural horizons. She is currently living in Berlin where she is conducting dissertation research with the support of a ten-month grant from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). She has published in Verges: Germanic and Slavic Studies in Review, Invisible Culture, and has forthcoming contributions in The Handbook of East German Cinema: The DEFA Legacy (Walter De Gruyter Press, 2015), Art Margins Online, and Sehepunkte. http://havc.ucsc.edu/people/students/sara-blaylock

Julia Bryan-Wilson is associate professor of modern and contemporary art at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of Art Workers: Radical Practice in the Vietnam War Era (2009) and editor of October Files: Robert Morris (2013).  She has published widely in venues such as Artforum, Art Journal, Oxford Art Journal, and The Journal of Modern Craft, and has articles forthcoming on Sharon Hayes (Afterall), Simone Forti (October), and Yoko Ono (Museum of Modern Art, New York). Her book on textiles since 1970 will be published by University of Chicago Press.  In 2014 she was the Terra Foundation Visiting Professor in American Art at the Courtauld, and she is currently a fellow at the Townsend Center for the Humanities.

Amy Charlesworth is Lecturer in Art History at The Open University. Her research primarily centres on the relation between feminism and realism post 1970 in the west. She has a particular interest in the film and video essay and its interlaced history with documentary practices and biopolitics. Her article, ‘Navigating Spheres: Shifts in emphasis, the Documentary, the Video Essay and the Social’ in Art & The Public Sphere is due out in Spring 2015 and she is currently working on an article ‘Caught between the factory and the home: re-visiting feminist “documentary” aesthetics under globalized capital’. Amy has presented her research at The Royal College of Art, (London); Historical Materialism, (London); Centre of Contemporary Art, (Glasgow); Loughborough University; and Association of Art Historians, (Warwick). Amy’s research has also involved her curating a number of exhibitions, screenings and public events. Her most recent co-curated exhibition, Past Caring at the University of Bradford, looked at the vicissitudes of care and work through the practices of Jane Allison, Katherine MacBride, Tracey Moffatt, Lucy Parker and Jo Spence.

Agata Jakubowska is associate professor at the Department of Art History at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. She is the author of, among others, On the Margins of a Mirror: The Female Body in Polish Women Artists’ Works (in Polish, 2004); A Multiple Portrait of Alina Szapocznikow’s Oeuvre (in Polish, 2008); Awkward Objects: Alina Szapocznikow (ed., Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, 2011), and All-Women Art Spaces in Europe in the long 1970s (ed., in preparation). She is currently working on a project devoted to the history of women-only exhibitions in Poland, and on a book devoted to the Polish sculptor Maria Pinińska-Bereś (1931–1999). Since 2009, she has served as the vice president of the Polish section of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA).

Teresa Kittler completed her PhD thesis titled ‘Living Art and the Art of Living: Remaking Home in 1960s Italy’ at University College London. Since completing her PhD she has worked as Assistant Curator for the 10th Gwangju Biennale and currently works as teaching fellow at University College London and the Ruskin School of Art where she teaches on a range of topics at BA level. 

Alexandra M. Kokoli (BA Thessaloniki, MA Warwick, DPhil Sussex) has taught at the University of Sussex, the University of Brighton and RGU, Aberdeen. She is currently Senior Lecturer in Visual Culture (Fine Art) at Middlesex University. Her research, which has been published in n.paradoxa, the Art Journal, and Performance Research, among other journals, focuses on feminist art history, theory and practice; art, politics and psychoanalysis; contemporary artists including Susan Hiller, Monica Ross and Tracey Emin; and the history of the ‘woman artist’ as a distinct classification. Her essays have appeared in exhibition catalogues by the Tate and Ben Uri and she has been invited speaker at numerous academic and other institutions, including the University of Edinburgh, ICA, DCA, Tate, and the Southbank Centre. She is the curator of ‘Burnt Breakfast’ and other works by Su Richardson (The Constance Howard Gallery and MAKE, Goldsmiths, 2012) and the editor of Feminism Reframed: Reflections on Art and Difference and The Provisional Texture of Reality: Selected Talks and Texts by Susan Hiller, 1977-2007. Her forthcoming monograph The Feminist Uncanny will be published by Bloomsbury Academic.

Megan R. Luke is Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Southern California. She is the author of Kurt Schwitters: Space, Image, Exile (University of Chicago Press, 2014) and Frank Stella 1958 (with Harry Cooper; Yale UP, 2006). With Sarah Hamill (Oberlin College), she is completing a book that considers the role of the photography of sculpture in the writing of art history, aesthetics, and media theory. Their joint project was awarded a two-year Collaborative Research Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies (2013–15). The paper she will present is part of a new monograph she is developing that charts the activities of a network of artists working in The Netherlands and Central Europe in the late 1920s and early 1930s to realize the utopian ambitions of abstraction in architecture, graphic design, photography, and film. This study will consider their prolific theorization of Gestaltung (formation, construction) and Sachlichkeit (objectivity) from the perspective of social housing, mass consumption, and sexual politics. In fall 2015 she will be working on this book as a Visiting Scholar at eikones NCCR Iconic Criticism, Basel.

Barbara Mahlknect is a cultural researcher, curator, art educator and teacher. She currently holds a position at the Institute for Education in the Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Her work in research, curating, art education and teaching strongly relates to postcolonial and feminist curatorial practices, socially engaged art, the exhibition as performative space and critical art education. She has (co-)conceptualised and (co-)realised a variety of projects––e.g. A Proposal to Call (exhibition, Kunsthalle Exnergasse Vienna, 2015); Projecting out into the Community (interview/online project, 2013); The Subjective Object. (Re)Appropriating Anthropological Images (exhibition, Grassi Museum Leipzig, 2012); Producing Publics—Presence as a Strategic Tool? (conference/publication, Galerie für zeitgenössische Kunst Leipzig, 2012) et al. Recent publications include Mitsprache als Widerspruch. Formate als Artikulation des Rechts auf Artikulation and Das Museum als Asyl? Überlegungen zu einer künstlerischen Installation Pélagie Gbaudi and Stefanie Oberhoff.

Alyce Mahon is Senior Lecturer in the History of Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of Cambridge. She is the author of Surrealism and the Politics of Eros, 1938-1968 (Thames & Hudson, 2005) and Eroticism and Art (Oxford University Press, 2007), and co-author, with Axel Heil and Robert Fleck, of Jean Jacques Lebel: Barricades (Köln: Walther König, 2014). She has also published numerous essays on Surrealism, performance, and feminist art practice, including “The Assembly Line Goddess: Modern Art and the Mannequin” in Silent Partners: Artist and Mannequin from Function to Fetish (Yale, 2014), “Sexology and the Artistic Avant Garde” in The Institute of Sexology (The Wellcome Trust, 2014), “She Who Revealed: The Celtic Goddess in the Art of Leonora Carrington”, in Leonora Carrington (Distributed Art Publishers, 2013), “La Feminité Triomphante: Leonor Fini and the Sphinx”, Dada/Surrealism (Issue 1, no. 19, December 2013), “The Lost Secret: Frida Kahlo and the Surrealist Imaginary”, Journal of Surrealism and the Americas (Issue 7/8, 2011), “Forma e performance nell’arte di Helena Almeida”, in Donna: Avanguardia Femminista Negli Anni ’70 (Mondadori Electa, 2010) and “Women Surrealists and the Still Life”, in Angels of Anarchy: Women Surrealist Artists and Tradition (Prestel, 2009).

Mignon Nixon is Professor of Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art and a co-editor of October. She is the author of Fantastic Reality: Louise Bourgeois and a Story of Modern Art (2005) and the editor of the Eva Hesse October File (2002). Her body of work concentrates on art since 1960 in interaction with the theories and politics of feminism, psychoanalysis, and anti-militarism. Recent writings include essays on Nancy Spero, Yayoi Kusama, and Louise Lawler. She is currently completing a book entitled Sperm Bomb: Art, Feminism, and the American War in Vietnam.

Harriet Riches is a writer and lecturer whose research focuses on women, photography and femininity. She completed her PhD on Francesca Woodman and the relationship between self-representation and the performance of the photographic medium at UCL, and has published on this topic in the journals Oxford Art Journal and Photographies, as well as in the book Girls! Girls! Girls! In Contemporary Art (Intellect, 2011). Her current research looks at gender and the language of photography. She recently published an essay on this in Tanya Sheehan (ed) Photography, History, Difference (Dartmouth College Press, 2015), and she is now working on a book on femininity and historiography. She writes regularly on contemporary photography for the journal Afterimage, and is currently Senior Lecturer in Art History and Visual Culture at Kingston University. ​

Elizabeth Robles I have recently completed my PhD in History of Art at the University of Bristol. My project encompasses an art historical reassessment of artists and art works that have, with few exceptions, been consumed by discourses of cultural theory and identity politics. It aims to contribute to a new art history that maps the dialogues and developments produced by black British artists onto the broader stories of British and twentieth century art as a whole. At the root of the project is an attempt to trace an alternative iconography within a wide breadth of works through an exploration and interrogation of ‘disruptive aesthetics’. I am currently working on transforming my thesis into a book.

Catherine Spencer is a Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of St Andrews, and has also taught at the University of Edinburgh. She received her PhD from the University of York in 2014, entitled ‘Fieldwork: Performing Social Science in North America, 1961-75’, and her research interests encompass performance, re-performance, transnational exchange and abstraction. Her research has been funded by the AHRC, the Carnegie Trust, the Terra Foundation for American Art, and the Getty Research Institute. In 2013 she was a pre-doctoral fellow on the Terra Summer Residency; and in 2012 she was an AHRC International Placement Scheme Fellow at the Library of Congress.

Giulia Smith is completing her PhD under the supervision of Prof. Briony Fer in the History of Art Department, UCL. The title of her thesis is ‘Nuclear Thinking: Regeneration in the Independent Group, 1946–1962’. She is a TA at UCL on modern and contemporary art and the history and philosophy of science. In 2014 she co-curated the series ‘Re-Materialising Feminism’ at the ICA and the Showroom, London. She is co-editor of the eponymous publication (Re-Materialising Feminism, Arcadia Missa, 2015), which brings together the work of emerging feminist academics and artists. She has published on Object (UCL) and her writing regularly appears on Frieze Magazine and Art Monthly.

Amy Tobin I am a PhD candidate in the history of art department at the University of York. My thesis, titled ‘Working Together, Working Apart: Feminism, Art and Collaboration in Britain and the United States, 1970-1981’, is supervised by Dr. Jo Applin and funded by the AHRC. I was a fellow at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, Washington D.C. as well as a Terra Fellow in 2014-2015. I have publications forthcoming in 2015 as well as essays published in Feminist Review and Jo Spence: The Final Project (Ridinghouse, 2013).

Conference Organisers

Jo Applin is Senior Lecturer in the History of Art Department at the University of York. She is the author of Eccentric Objects: Rethinking Sculpture in 1960s America (Yale UP, 2012) and Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Room–Phalli’s Field (Afterall and MIT Press, 2012). Jo is currently co-editing a book with Catherine Spencer and Amy Tobin titled London Art Worlds: Mobile, Kinetic and Ephemeral Networks 1960-1980. Jo has also published articles on artists including Claes Oldenburg, Lee Bontecou, Yayoi Kusama, Lee Lozano, Eva Lofdahl, Eva Hesse, HC Westermann, Liliane Lijn, Jan De Cock, Bridget Riley, and Bruce McLean in journals such as Art History, Art Journal, Tate Papers, Sculpture Journal, Source, and Parallax, and her essays have appeared in exhibition catalogues published by Tate Modern, Moderna Museet, Victoria Miro Gallery, Firstsite, Fondazione Prada, and the Yale Center for British Art and Dallas Museum of Art. Her reviews and criticism have appeared in Artforum, Times Literary Supplement, Oxford Art Journal, Modernism/Modernity, Sculpture Journal, and Map. She is a member of the editorial boards of ARTMargins and Oxford Art Journal. Jo is currently the recipient of a Philip Leverhulme Prize (2013-2015) and writing a book about the American artist Lee Lozano titled Not Working: Lee Lozano versus the Art World 1961-1971.

Francesca Berry is Head of the Department of Art History, Film and Visual Studies at the University of Birmingham. The main focus of her research is the artistic and visual culture of the domestic interior in mid-nineteenth- to early twentieth-century France and she has published a number of articles in this field. An essay on the visual culture of the bedroom was recently published in the collection G. Downey (ed.), Domestic Interiors: Representing Homes from the Victorians to the Moderns (Bloomsbury, 2013). Fran is in the process of completing a book examining domesticity and the interior in relation to the work of French Symbolist artist Edouard Vuillard, titled Edouard Vuillard: Art and the Politics of Domesticity at the end of the Nineteenth Century. This will constitute the first book-length feminist engagement with Vuillard and Intimisme more generally. She is also planning a book on the interior as a pictorial motif in French art and visual culture 1850-1950 titled The Shared Art of the Interior. As co-investigator on the AHRC funded (£282,000) collaborative research project ‘Suburban Birmingham: Spaces and Places 1880-1960’ (participating institutions are University of Birmingham, Birmingham Archives and Heritage and Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery) she also published the online essay, ‘Homes on Show: Bournville Village Trust, Feminine Agency and the Performance of Suburban Domesticities’, http://www.suburbanbirmingham.org.uk/spaces/bournville-essay.htm

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