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SENK seminar with Dr Leon Wainwright

Bodily relations and reciprocity in the art of Sonia Khurana.

Sonia Khurana, Lone Women Don't Lie, 1999, single-channel video (vertical screen), black and white, 3 minutes 20 seconds, looped. © Sonia Khurana.


Abstract: This presentation will explore the significance of the ‘somatic’ and ‘ontological turn’ in locating a radical politics for contemporary performance, installation, video and digital art practice by New Delhi-based artist, Sonia Khurana. Since the late 1990s, Khurana has fashioned a range of artworks requiring new sorts of reciprocal, ethical and embodied relations with their viewers, suggesting the need for a direct inquiry into an art of the body. Her art is an intimate, visceral and emotional field of inter- and intra-action; a novel contribution to recent transdisciplinary perspectives on the gendered, social and sentient body. Whether subsisting through movement, or in time, through gesture, or illusion, Khurana sets up an always arresting nexus of making, feeling and thought. She celebrates the diverse uses for art, the agency of objects, the grounded materialities of mediation, and the interconnections between art, politics and emancipation. Together, these constitute a field of art practice that highlights the pitfalls of identity politics by indirection, while pressing theories of intersectionality and the body into fresh intellectual territory.

Leon Wainwright is Reader in Art History at The Open University, UK. His research has a transatlantic scope, bringing together the politics of historiography in art history with the philosophy of aesthetics, and new approaches to materiality and geographical space in the social sciences. His book Phenomenal Difference: A Philosophy of Black British Art (Liverpool University Press, 2017) follows Timed Out: Art and the Transnational Caribbean (Manchester University Press, 2011). He has edited or co-edited four books: Triennial City: Localising Asian Art (Cornerhouse 2014), Objects and Imagination: Perspectives on Materialization and Meaning (Berghahn 2015), Disturbing Pasts: Memories, Controversies and Creativity (Manchester University Press 2017), and Sustainable Art Communities: Creativity and Policy in the Transnational Caribbean (Manchester University Press 2017). He is co-editor of two forthcoming book anthologies: Art in Theory: An Anthology of Changing Ideas: The West and the World 1400 to the present (Wiley), and The Routledge Companion to Global Art Histories. He is a former long-standing member of the editorial board of the journal Third Text, and founding editor of the Open Arts Journal. From 2014-2015 he occupied the inaugural position of Kindler Chair in Global Contemporary Art at Colgate University, New York, and has held visiting roles at UC Berkeley, Yale, and the University of Oxford. He is a recipient of the Philip Leverhulme Prize in the History of Art.

The seminar will take place in the seminar room on the 3rd floor, Frederiks gate 2 (Entrance via back door on Kristian IVs gate - ring the doorbell for the third floor) . After the seminar there will be room for informal conversations and drinks.


SENK, Geoffrey Gowlland and Tone Wang
Published May 8, 2017 5:50 PM - Last modified Oct. 10, 2018 9:27 AM