Power as Representation as Power (cont); Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto; 16-17/4/1986

'Signs without reference, Practice without matter, Discourse without institution' are according to the speaker, the ideal conditions of production for aesthetic pleasure. How can one negotiate the values of aesthetic pleasure within the market and can artists successfully address this issue with political art? Inevitably critical art work must the means of production and the circulation of the work through the market. The corporate investment in art see's it entering a violent and alienated market, where it is valued for economic interest only. The impulse of aesthetic pleasure appreciates disembodiment, non-utilitarian characteristic which are distanced from the realities of labour. Aesthetic desire is the super-structural ideology which controls one's relationship to production of identity, and therefore produces the meaning of art.

The second talk directs the dialogue of Feminism towards issues of sexuality and representation. Mary Kelly's 'Post-Partum-Document' is a record of the first 6 years of her son's life and presents a portrait of women in 1970's Britain. The patriarchal model of sexual division of labour is tied up with ideology, imparted by sexuality and representation. Kelly dubs this 'the fundamentally fetishistic nature of representation' which she illustrates through the mother's collection of child's memorabilia; drawings and ephemera in 'Post-Partum-Document'.

The notion of sexuality as transgressive is linked to the modernist avant-garde. From this arose the anarchic idealization of nature, and sexuality as positive force, able to operate as an alternative rationale to the state. There is a discussion regarding the role of psychoanalysis is repressing femininity by producing its symbolic representation. The work is Dick Hebdige provides an example of female self image, in particular his depiction of sub culture. The punk women in Hebdige's photos assert a transgressive femininity, inventing a way in which to operate post-feminism; 'the fact of surveillance into the pleasure of being one'.


Accession No. WAA.042
Artist: Power as Representation as Power (cont)
Container annotation: TAPE 4 / SIDE A
Place/Year: Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto 16-17/4/1986
Type: Conference
Technical aspects:
Duration: 60'
Tape capacity: 90
Tape brand: TDK