In this lecture, Griselda Pollock takes up Gertrude Stein’s incisive comment that, of all things, the modern cannot be in a museum. So, what was new and remarkable in the creation of this paradoxical institution: a musealization of modern art? What has been its long-term legacy in shaping ‘a half-empty museum’ and writing in space a disfiguringly ‘incomplete history’? How have feminists critiqued its damaging effects on our sense of who the moderns were and, as a result, we are now? If, as Pollock has argued, feminist, postcolonial and queer cultural art histories and cultural studies perform ‘interventions’ into art’s and culture’s histories from the missing spaces and places and invisibilized artworks, what is being proposed with her most recent concept for feminist ‘intervention’: the virtual feminist museum where the term virtual applies to the virtuality of feminism rather than to a cyber museum? Has the modern, museum or not, ceased to be musealizable? What does this mean for the study of what is now theorized and exhibited as contemporary art?
Griselda Pollock is an internationally renowned art historian and cultural theorist. She is currently Professor of Social and Critical Histories of Art at the University of Leeds and Director at the Centre for Cultural Analysis, Theory & History (CentreCATH). Her research explores the ways we study and interpret the art of both past and present as a way to understand our societies, world histories and ourselves. She challenges both the isolation of art from society and history and the exclusion of women's artistic contributions to the twentieth century. Pollock also explores the interaction of the social categories of gender, class and race, crucially researching the relationship between them and psychoanalysis and art, and drawing on the work of such French cultural theorists as Michel Foucault.
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