CRVCCentre for Research in Visual Culture

Moments of Possibility, Sites of Struggle and Disparate Memories: Critical Retrospect is not Nostalgia

Hybrid - Clive Granger A48 and online
Wednesday 6th September 2023 (18:00-19:30)
Booking essential. Book your spot here.

This keynote lecture by the eminent art historian Griselda Pollock will bring the CRVC’s year-long research theme ‘1972, or thereabouts’ to a close. Pollock’s talk will draw on many of the themes and issues covered over the past year of events, focussing on the questions raised by the blind spots, lags and repetitions that have arisen in the fifty years since the art-historical transformations of the year 1972.

This is a dangerous and seductive invitation to reconsider a politico-cultural moment that, lodged in both personal and generational memory, solicits critical retrospect half a century later. As but one intellectual formed around 1972 but reshaped over the subsequent decades, I now recall shapelessness, bits and pieces, disparate centres of activity, daily excitements, false hopes, discontent not yet fed with sufficient theoretical resources for translation into action or  even understanding. Invited to re-examine the constellation of historical events, erupting political movements, and avalanche of new theoretical resources captured by the conference title, my lecture draws on the Benjaminian proposition that ‘history’ arises only in a present prepared by that history to render its own past intelligible or illegible. I shall aim to address some of the dilemmas, if not crises, of our present through the lens of a dispassionate analysis of the foreign-ness of ca. 1972 even as it has been folded into selective narratives. I need to ask myself what did I miss? What did or could I not see? What do we not remember? And also, what do we need to revisit, re-read, and perhaps re-absorb?

This event will also be livestreamed, please register to receive a link before the event.

Centre for Research in Visual Culture

University of Nottingham
Lakeside Arts Centre
Nottingham, NG7 2RD