Lecture | Chari Larsson – Steve McQueen’s Ghostly Survivals with respondent Giles Fielke

Followed by the Melbourne launch of Broadsheet Journal 45.2 (September 2016), with opening remarks by Liz Nowell, Executive Director, Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia (CACSA), and Wendy Walker, Editor, Broadsheet Journal.

Date: Wednesday, 14th September 2016, 6:00pm
Venue: Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne
Free to attend

In 2003, British artist and filmmaker, Steve McQueen was selected as an official war artist by the Imperial War Museum to document the war in Iraq. The situation in Basra, however, was extremely unstable and dangerous, leaving McQueen unable to film and confined for the duration of the six-day trip. As a response, McQueen later began composing a new commemorative project, Queen and Country (2007–2009), with the goal of giving representation to the men and women who had died serving in Iraq. McQueen created sheets of postage stamps, seeking to circulate miniature portraits of the deceased into the Royal Mail postal service, and eventually disseminate throughout the broader community.

McQueen’s decision to use postage stamps as commemorative forms raises important questions pertaining to the distribution and ongoing circulation of images. Drawing on French philosopher and art historian Georges Didi-Huberman’s recovery of anachronism as a productive mode for understanding images, this lecture will argue that McQueen’s stamps place traditional notions of origin and time under pressure. Anachronism is recuperated here no longer as a historical taboo, but a dynamic and positive mode for imagining the artwork as a site of a plurality of possible temporalities. Working against a linear narrative of continual improvement, images return from the past to haunt the future with a ghostly intensity.

Dr Chari Larsson recently completed her PhD at the University of Queensland examining the work of French philosopher and art historian, Georges Didi-Huberman. Her research interests include art historiography, temporalities of art, and theories of images.

Giles Fielke is a PhD candidate at the Art History department of The University of Melbourne, working on the artist organisations of discrete images on film. In particular his research focuses on the work of Hollis Frampton and Harun Farocki, and the question of the search. He is a founding member of the Artist Film Workshop, and programmes and writes on contemporary art and film.

Established by the CACSA in 1954, Broadsheet Journal has been at the forefront of critical debate and discourse in the field of contemporary visual culture for over 50 years. In partnership with TarraWarra Museum of Art, Gertrude Contemporary and Discipline, the CACSA will launch issue 45.2 (September 2016), which features contributions by a diverse group of writers, artists, curators and academics including Rex Butler, Pedro de Almeida, Djon Mundine, Ivan Muniz Reed, Veronica Tello and Helen Hughes, co-curator of the TarraWarra Biennial 2016. Celebrating its 45th volume in 2016, Broadsheet Journal 45.2 offers in-depth analysis on subjects such as dance in the museum, decolonial aesthetics and post-criticality in contemporary art. Complimentary copies will be available on the night.
Co-presented by TarraWarra Museum of Art, Gertrude Contemporary and Discipline as part of the ‘TarraWarra Biennial 2016: Endless Circulation Lecture Series’. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. Image: Steve McQueen, Queen and Country, 2007, courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York.

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