The female body, taken art historically, is an invention of the male gaze. Forged and fictionalized by male hands, how can women offer a new vision of themselves? With author and critic Lauren Elkin, learn how feminist artists have used art as a tool of resistance, inserting themselves into the very artistic lineage responsible for their oppression.
In new work Art Monsters: Unruly Bodies in Feminist Art, Elkin proposes an alternative narrative of art history, painting a vivid portrait of art as a celebration of beauty, excess, sentimentality, touch, and the politics of the body. She will appear in conversation with art historian and visual culture expert Alice Blackhurst.
Lauren Elkin is the author most recently of Art Monsters: Unruly Bodies in Feminist Art, which redefines monstrosity as a key element in feminist aesthetics; it’s “destined to become a new classic,” according to Chris Kraus. Her essays on art, literature, and culture have appeared in the London Review of Books, the New York Times, Granta, Harper’s, Le Monde, and Frieze, among others. She is also an award-winning translator, most recently of Simone de Beauvoir’s previously unpublished novel The Inseparables After twenty years in Paris, she is now based in London.
Alice Blackhurst is a writer, academic, and the author of Luxury, Sensation and the Moving Image recently shortlisted for the 2023 R Gapper Best Book in French Studies Prize. Her writing has appeared more widely in The Observer New Review, The Paris Review, the TLS, Jacobin and The New Left Review Sidecar.
Read Lauren Elkin’s recent article in Art Review on her reflections on art, writing, and staging a protest at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
Alice Blackhurst interviewed Nobel laureate Annie Ernaux on her long career, writing process, and activism. Read in the Guardian.
The discussion will be available both online and in person. While the conversation will happen in person (Elkin and Blackhurst will appear in the Reading Room), the Library will stream the conversation on Zoom for a live viewing experience. Both in-person and online attendees will be able to pose questions.
This event requires advance registration.
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