Art historian Monika Szewczyk is member of staff at the Emily Carr Institute in Vancouver/Canada, one of the partners in WdKA's international network. Research/interests include the shifting aesthetics and institutional spaces of video art in the late 1970s, as well as contemporary curatorial practice. At the past Dukumenta in Kassel she interviewed various (video-)filmers.
On Tuesday March 4, 2008 Monika Szewczy will do a public lecture at WdKA's Piet Zwart Institute, entitled: 'Drawing The Blank: A Qualitative Proposition for Art, 1410 to the Present' (voertaal: Engels). This lecture is organized within the framework of the thematic seminar 'Thing Theory – Thingness and/in the Work of Art' held at the Piet Zwart Institute by Dieter Roelstraete. Monika Szewczyk will discuss 'blankness' in art.
From the press release: “It is perhaps because our world is composed of so much information — a veritable sea or ocean of adverts, bulletins, newsflashes, publicity stills, YouTube clips, logos and other visions and voices that completely consume our attention, even as we appear to consume them — that it is now increasingly possible to recognize the existence of small pockets of non-communication in the visual realm, which we will call blanks. (This name gets us outside the notion of 'abstraction', without abandoning some of its more interesting problems.) Yet, if it is from within this condition of information overload that a blank may be thought and felt as a space of resistance, it cannot be said that blankness is an ideologically predetermined quality of art. Rather, it is necessary continually to reconsider how art and artists engage blankness. This talk is an attempt to sketch out an understanding of this dynamic – which, along the way will connect Theodore Adorno's “truth in enigmaticalness” to the symmetric stare of Andrei Rublev's Pantocrator (c. 1410), via the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey, Cosima von Bonin's plush puppies, the pale countenance of Luc Tuymans' paintings and other key uses of blankness in-between.”
Monika Szewczyk. 'Drawing The Blank: A Qualitative Proposition for Art, 1410 to the Present', public lecture. Tuesday March 4, 2008. Piet Zwart Institute, Mauritsstraat 36, Rotterdam/NL. Lecture starts at 7.30 p.m. Admission: free.
See also: Monika Szewczyk. 'chronocidal citizens' (lecture). Vancouver, Catriona Jeffries Gallery, January 2005.