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Panel Discussion: Painting and Representation

Americas Society

March 05, 2013
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Archival Station at Prussian Blue.

Free for members; $10 for non-members.

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Speakers:

  • Irmgard Emmelhainz (La Esmeralda National Art School. Mexico City)
  • Gary Kornblau (Art Center College of Design. Pasadena, CA)
  • Nico Israel (Hunter College and CUNY Graduate Center)
  • Yishai Jusidman (Visual artist)
  • Moderator: Gabriela Rangel (Americas Society Visual Arts Director)

In conjunction with the exhibition Prussian Blue – Memory after Representation: Yishai Jusidman, on view from January 23 to March 24, the Visual Arts Department at Americas Society will host the panel discussion “Painting After Representation.” The talk will focus on painting's contentious relationship with the representation of memory and collective trauma. The Prussian Blue series by Yishai Jusidman (Mexico, 1963) is based on appropriated photographs of the architecture of gas chambers at various concentration camps during World War II. Jusidman’s approach to the Shoah avoids sentimentality and voyeurism by generating pictorial impressions through the use of a pigment that operates as a material witness to the genocide—Prussian blue. In a time when the Enlightenment project has been replaced by the logic of archival fever, the Prussian Blue series offers a productive point of debate on the relevance of painting in the re-configuration of memory. How is the axiology of art and the collective memory of our violent past engaged with the appropriation of archival sources by contemporary artists? What may the contribution of painting be to the construction of a historical discourse today? Critics Irmgard Emmelhainz, Gary Kornblau, and Nico Israel, along with the artist Yishai Jusidman, will examine topics surrounding Jean-Luc Godard and Claude Lanzmann's polemic in regards to the ethical status of images of the Shoah, as well as the question posited by Jusidman's project—to make silence speak through painting—with references to the writings of Theodor Adorno, Paul Celan, Hannah Arendt, Primo Levi, and Giorgio Agamben. Moderated by the exhibition curator and Visual Arts director at Americas Society Gabriela Rangel, this program aims to provide a critical framework to issues of collective memory and trauma vis-à-vis the instrumental use of historical narratives in contemporary art projects.

Learn more about the exhibition.