Event at UEL: Visualising from Memory

The Psychosocial Studies Research Group and the Centre for Narrative Research invite you to:

Visualising From Memory: Trauma, Art and Narrative in the work of Barbara Loftus.
Friday, 28th of November, 2-5 pm, SD 1.12 (Sports Dock), Docklands Campus, University of East London.

All Welcome

Barbara Loftus is Leverhulme Artist in Residence at the Psychosocial Studies Programme, University of East London. She is a figurative painter who combines traditional studio practice with performed re-enactment, historical research and digital media to feed into her image-making process. The theme of her current work is the convergence of personal memory and major historical events. Her mother Hildegard’s long-held silence, only broken in 1995, unlocked a door into the spirit of a ruined Europe, recounting personal experiences of growing up as a Jew in Germany during the inter-war period. Through a series of visual narratives which take the form of paintings, graphic sequences, film and bookworks, Barbara Loftus constructs a visual interpretation of trans-generational memory, mining the experience and perceptions from two generations divided in time by the second world war – her mother’s and her own. Her focus on specific details of everyday life frames significant memory images that have the capacity to act as historical ciphers of human experience.

Short Film Screening: Lieder ohne Worte (Songs without Words), Images of Memory

Speakers:
Julia Winckler (University of Brighton), Barbara Loftus: Archival and Artistic Practices.
Lisa Baraitser (Birkbeck, University of London), Late Memory: Mothering, Delay and the Virtual Past.
Nicola Diamond (University of East London), Loss, Absence and the Uncanny Nature of the Void: Exploring Alterity and the Body Symptom in the Aftermath.

Julia Winckler (University of Brighton), Archival and artistic practices: This presentation will use Barbara Loftus’ artistic processes and the short film as a starting point. Referring to the photography module “Experimental Archaeology: Within and Beyond the Archive”, which Julia has taught for the past ten years, this talk will discuss a small number of archival and photographic practices that reactivate the past in meaningful, creative ways.
Julia Winckler is a Senior Lecturer in photography at the University of Brighton. She has written about therapeutic uses of photography in “Acts of Embodiment: explorations of collaborative phototherapy” co-authored with Stephanie Conway, for Wild Fire: Art as Activism, Deborah Barndt (ed) 2006, Sumach Press; “Connecting Self and the World: Image-ing Community” for Through Our Eyes: My Light 2008, Robert H.N. Ho Foundation, Hong Kong; and “A time we were not born”: experimental archaeology – working within and beyond the photographic archive with photography students” in Phototherapy and Therapeutic Photography in a Digital Age, in Del Loewenthal (ed), Routledge, 2013.
Lisa Baraitser (Birkbeck, University of London), Late Memory: Mothering, Delay and the Virtual Past: This talk engages notions of ‘late memory’ to understand the mother-daughter relationship that emerges in recent work by Barbara Loftus. Loftus’ mother, Hildegard Basch, was silent for most of her life about her experiences of fleeing Germany as a Jewish refugee in 1939, and only late, in older age, did she begin to talk to her daughter about her memories of Germany. I develop the idea of the subject of old age as the subject constituted not only by a relation to lost objects, as Freud describes, but a relation to lost time, whereby the past itself becomes constitutive of the self when understood in a Bergsonian sense of memory as a virtual archive. Through the work of the psychoanalyst, painter and theorist, Bracha Ettinger, we can link the ageing mother, for whom memory is constitutive, to the emergence of a daughter, for whom the co-affective traces of such memory is generative.
Lisa Baraitser is a Reader in Psychosocial Studies in the Department of Psychosocial Studies, Birkbeck, University of London, and a psychotherapist in independent practice. She is the author of the award-winning monograph, Maternal Encounters; The Ethics of Interruption (Routledge, 2009) and the forthcoming edited collection A Feeling for Things, with Michael O’Rourke (Punctum Books, 2014). She is the co-founder of MaMSIE (Mapping Maternal Subjectivities, Identities and Ethics), an interdisciplinary research network that explores meanings and representations of motherhood in contemporary life, and co-editor of the journals Studies in the Maternal, and Studies in Gender and Sexuality. She is currently an Independent Social Research Foundation Fellow, working on a new book on gender and temporality.

Nicola Diamond (University of East London), Loss and absence and the uncanny nature of the void: Exploring alterity and the Body Symptom in the aftermath: In this paper I explore uncanny affects. Thinking of Barbara Loftus and her work, I am struck by the ambiance of empty interiors -spaces where an absent history is marked. How is memory of a lost past lived and traces re-inscribed? Whereas some researchers today look at visual arts for answers, I, as a clinician, take the body symptom and the uncanny as a focus. The canvas here is body surface expressing a somatic and ‘felt’ narrative, before words fully articulate traumatic memory of loss. These ideas are particularly explored with reference to the uncanny affect and states of embodied alterity. Questions of language and the body are also to be touched upon.

Dr Nicola Diamond is a Senior Lecturer in Psychosocial Studies at the University of East London and psychoanalytic psychotherapist BPC registered in private practice. She lectured in Film and Psychoanalysis at the Tavistock, and worked as a staff psychotherapist at The Womens Therapy Centre and at the Helen Bamber Foundation (with people who suffered human rights violations). She is author of Between Skins 2013 and co-author of Attachment and Intersubjectivity, and numerous publications on the body relational space and sociality.

Docklands Campus, University of East London, E16 2RD, Nearest tube station: Cyprus, DLR (http://www.uel.ac.uk/campuses/docklands/)

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