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Lecture | Amelia Jones "Performing Absence as Intervention: The Case of Lee Lozano"

Jul 07, 2023 | 07:30 PM

Event in English spoken language | free admission | registration required | barrier-free access: Please indicate your specific accessibility needs when registering

The artist has long been understood in conventional Western art history, art criticism, and curatorial practice as the site of active agency, the origin of the meaning and value of the work of art. By the later twentieth century, during a period of social crisis across Europe and North America, however, theorists such as Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida put pressure on this model. At the same time artists began mobilizing their agency in radically different ways as part of a broad societal challenging of Western hegemony, patriarchal and white dominant models of subjectivity, and structures of power more generally. Jones examines one extreme example of such a mobilization from the 1960s New York art world — the case of American woman artist Lee Lozano, who ostentatiously proclaimed her plan to “drop out” and leave this vibrant scene at the height of her career — to explore how artistic authorship itself could be seen as a key site for the inter- rogation of power in the world. The case of Lozano allows to pose the question: is a performance of withdrawal from art institutions the ultimate intervention in a period of social crisis? Or was she effectively “copping out” just at the moment when many of her colleagues (for example, in New York, feminists such as her friend Lucy Lippard, and the anti-racist protestors participating in the 1970 Art Strike) were publicly agitating on the streets and in the museums for equity and inclusion?

Amelia Jones is Robert A. Day Professor at Roski School of Art & Design, USC. Publications include Seeing Differently: A History and Theory of Identification and the Visual Arts (2012) and Otherwise: Imagining Queer Feminist Art Histories, co-edited with Erin Silver (2016). Her catalogue Queer Communion: Ron Athey (2020) was listed among the “Best Art Books 2020” in the NY Times, and the curated show was listed among Top Ten 2021 exhibitions in Artforum (December 2021). Her book entitled In Between Subjects: A Critical Genealogy of Queer Performance was published in 2021. Her current work addresses the structural racism and neoliberalism of the twenty- first-century art world and university.

Moderated by Christopher Weickenmeier and Mimmi Woisnitza.

The public keynote lecture is part of the international workshop „Drafts in Action. Concepts and Practices of Artistic Interventions“, July 7–8, 2023, organized by Anna KipkeIryna KovalenkoLaura RogalskiBeate SöntgenSimon TeuneAnnette Werberger, and Mimmi Woisnitza.


An Event of the Collaborative Research Centre 1512 “Intervening Arts” and the DFG-Research Training Group “Cultures of Critique” in Cooperation with the ICI Berlin.

Time & Location

Jul 07, 2023 | 07:30 PM

ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry
Christinenstraße 18/19, Haus 8
10119 Berlin

Further Information

Registration opens on June 20, 2023 on the ICI Berlin website.