[SydPhil] REMINDER: International Art & Philosophy Conference + Exhibition, "The Image in Question" starts FRI, AUG 1, 5pm at SCA, Rozelle.
david.macarthur at sydney.edu.au
Thu Jul 31 13:14:54 AEST 2014
THE IMAGE IN QUESTION –
An International Interdisciplinary Conference At The University Of Sydney
The image-saturated world that we live in today will be under scrutiny at an international,
interdisciplinary conference and exhibition at Sydney College of the Arts from 1-3
August. International researchers led by the University of Sydney’s Contemporary Arts School and
Philosophy Department, together with the Australian Catholic University’s Institute of Social Justice,
will examine society’s position as consumers of images in film, photography, television, the internet
and contemporary art.
The conference theme, The Image in Question, is partly inspired by Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1966
film Blow Up, which follows a fashion photographer’s quest for verifiable evidence of a murder he
has unwittingly captured on film. Underlying the film is a metaphor for the hidden truths revealed in
an image – an idea that will be explored at the Sydney conference. Dr John Di Stefano, Associate
Professor, Sydney College of the Arts and one of the conference conveners, said: “Images are
generated and disseminated at unheard of speed and volume now,more than ever. As consumers,
we have become somewhat desensitized by the deluge of images that we encounter through various
“This conference will consider how the image can still be meaningful today, and what its currency
and role is in society. It will also raise philosophical questions about the future of our society and
human kind, in a world mediated through photo media,” he said.
Visiting Australia for the conference is international cultural theorist and video artist Dr Mieke Bal
from the University of Amsterdam. An author of more than 30 books, Bal also makes experimental
documentaries on migration and more recently has begun exploring fiction. She will deliver a
keynote address on ‘Temporal Turbulence’, which will examine how imaging and thinking politically
might go hand in hand.
Dr Stephen White, another international guest speaker and Philosophy Professor at Boston’s Tufts
University, will deliver the second keynote on scepticism and the camera as a metaphor for the
Accompanying The Image in Question is an exhibition, The Sceptical Image, which integrates
creative art research into the conference. The exhibition sees 11 contemporary artists, including
SCA lecturers Anne Ferran, Ryszard Dabek, John Di Stefano, Merilyn Fairskye, Stefan Popescu,
Cherine Fahd, Justin Trendall and Margaret Seymour, develop new works across photography,
video installation, digital art and film. In a unique forum, the conference will move into the SCA
Galleries to examine and interrogate images created by these contemporary artists in response to
the conference theme, providing a further avenue for critical debate and exchange during the
In conjunction with the conference, Mieke Bal also presents her latest video installation Madame B:
Explorations in Emotional Capitalism at the SCA Galleries. Her immersive exhibition is inspired by
Gustave Flaubert’s 1856 debut novel Madame Bovary, which tells an archetypal story of a doctor's
wife’s adulterous affairs and who lives beyond her means to escape the banalities and emptiness
of provincial life. The installation, comprising 19 video screen projections, follows a similar, modern
day tale of human madness and destruction. Made in collaboration with fellow video and
performance artist Michelle Williams Gamaker, the work is loyal to the cinema as an art form for
revealing images that have big screen political influence.
The Image in Question will draw experts from several other key universities internationally and in
NSW and the ACT, who will speak as part of this interdisciplinary conference. For the full program
and to register visit www.theimageinquestion.net
The Sceptical Image and Madame B Explorations in Emotional Capitalism exhibitions are showing
at the SCA Galleries until 30 August.
What: The Image in Question international conference
When: 1-3 August (exhibition opening: 1 Aug and conference: 2-3 Aug)
Where: Sydney College of the Arts, Callan Park, Lilyfield
Cost: $120 adult, $70 concession (Daily rate $70/$45)
Above image: Untitled. Image: Fairskye/Fahd 2014.
Media enquiries: Mandy Campbell 0481 012 742 or mandy.campbell at sydney.edu.au<mailto:mandy.campbell at sydney.edu.au>
Dr. David Macarthur | Senior Lecturer & UG Coordinator
Philosophy Department, SOPHI | FASS
THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY
NSW, 2006 | Australia
Ph: +61 2 9351 3193
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the SydPhil