Kaja Silverman: Behold the Invisible

Public Programs

Kaja Silverman

Kaja Silverman: Behold the Invisible

2011 Ludden Lecture

Thu, Apr 21, 2011 4 PM

In this lecture, noted art historian Kaja Silverman will discuss Jeff Wall’s work After “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison, the Preface (2001) and the aesthetic, philosophical, and political implications of the shift observed in his artwork after 1990.

“Visibility” and “invisibility” have been the dominant concerns of Jeff Wall’s artwork, as seen in his earlier pieces such as Destroyed Room (1979) and recent works such as Overpass (2001) and Dawn (2001). In his earliest Cibachromes, “invisibility” signified “ideological mystification,” and Wall sought to undo this in his work by making the invisible, visible. Wall’s relationship to visibility and invisibility began to change after 1990 as the people, places, and things in his photographs became more likely to turn away from the viewer than toward them.

Kaja Silverman is the Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Chair of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania and is the author of eight books: James Coleman, World Spectators, Speaking About Godard, The Threshold of the Visual World, Male Subjectivity at the Margins, The Acoustic Mirror, The Female Voice in Psychoanalysis and Cinema, The Subject of Semiotics, and Flesh of My Flesh. Silverman’s writing and teaching are focused primarily on phenomenology, psychoanalysis, photography, time-based visual art, and literature, but she continues to write about and teach courses on cinema. Additionally she has a developing interest in painting and an ongoing commitment to feminist theory. She is currently writing a new book about photography, The Miracle of Analogy.

A reception in the Wexner Center cafß immediately follows Silverman’s presentation.

The Ludden Lecture was established in 1986 to honor Franklin M. Ludden (1916–2002), professor and former chair of the Department of History of Art, who inspired students with his breadth of knowledge and enthusiasm for art historical topics from medieval art and architecture to postmodernism.

Presented by Ohio State's Department of the History of Art. Cosponsored by the Wexner Center.