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Painting Chair Presents Paper at International Conference

Posted September 21, 2012 in Faculty


Diane Zeeuw, Professor of Painting and Graduate Art Theory as well as Chair of the Painting program, participated in a conference that was part of the Mediations Biennale (Niepojmowalne/The Unknown), hosted in Poznan, Poland, September 14–16.

The Biennale invited artists of international standing, including Bill Viola and Nick Cave,  as well as 60 presenters representing Australia, Canada, Ireland, Japan, United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, Brazil, Turkey, Slovenia, Poland, New Zealand, and the USA.

Zeeuw says of her paper, Meta-pictures of Mental Illness: An Aporia of Visualization, “Mental illness is an inner experience that continues to be viewed with fear and suspicion by others. I examined images that attempt to represent or make salient a qualitative sense of such elusive abstract states as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. As image-makers we continue to deploy clichés as equivalencies for the disordered mind, including spatial fragmentation, histrionic, hermeneutical overload, romanticized portraits of anguish or conversely, vacancy. Many other researchers have noted the plethora of such representational stereotypes, and I am not concerned per-se with the dismantling of these sorts of representations, but rather with why it is that we are left with such inadequate images, or so called ‘tired significations’ of this deeply human phenomenon. The sort of images I would like to specifically focus upon are those that demonstrate, even enact in a meta-pictorial way, an awareness of their own inherent inadequacy.”

Zeeuw presented her paper at the Third International Conference on the Image, (part of the Mediations Biennale). Zeeuw’s paper was also accepted for publication in the International Journal Of The Image.

Zeeuw said of the conference, “This was a fantastic experience! We were treated like dignitaries, with Biennale representatives waiting for us when we exited the plane. Poznan is a city of approximately 600,000 people, and has been the site of some very terrible history, including Nazi occupation and deportation of the city’s entire Jewish population. It is a beautiful city of ghosts.”