Thomas Mailaender, from “L’union fait la farce,” 2012. Courtesy Thomas Mailaender and Art Center La Cuisine.
wo 13.04 - do 14.04.2016

Campus Sint-Lukas Brussel

Conference Photography Performing Humor

Talks, lezingen en congressen

© Thomas Mailaender, from “L’union fait la farce,” 2012. Courtesy Thomas Mailaender and Art Center La Cuisine.

Although humor is clearly omnipresent in a wide spectrum of photographic practices — ranging from advertising or art photography to family snapshots with their obligatory ‘smile’ or the classic Tower of Pisa joke — the topic has yet to be fully discovered by researchers. While in recent years photography theory has witnessed the affective turn, its focus remained largely on photographic representations of suffering, trauma and loss.
It is no coincidence then, that one of the central metaphors to think the affective quality of the medium, Barthes’ punctum, relates affect to being wounded. This conference resolutely chooses to elaborate a lighter, humorous side of photography and aims to map different strategies and practices.


Wednesday, 13 April 2016
9:00 am     Coffee & registration
10:00 am    Welcome
Carl Van Eyndhoven (dean LUCA School of Arts)
10:10 am     Opening word
Mieke Bleyen (KU Leuven)
10:30 am     Keynote lecture
Louis Kaplan (University of Toronto)
A Morbid Sense of Humor: Reflections on Photography’s Dark Comedy
Moderator: Hilde Van Gelder
11:30 am     Coffee break

11:45 am     Heather Diack (University of Miami)
Playing It Straight: The Alliance of Humor and Photography in Conceptual Art

12:15 pm      Sandra Križic Roban (Institute of Art History, Zagreb)
Elements of Humor in Proto- and Conceptual Photography in Croatia
12:45 pm       Johan Pas (Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp)
Défense de photographier.” Parody as a Postmodern Strategy in Some European Artists’ Books, 1960s-70s
Moderator: Liesbeth Decan
1:15 pm     Lunch break
2:30 pm     Sian Bonnell (based in Cornwall; Falmouth University, Cornwall)
Wilful Amateur
3:00 pm     Lieven Segers (based in Antwerp; MAD-Faculty, Hogeschool PXL, Hasselt - LUCA School of Arts, Genk)
8 words on making something good
3:30 pm     Thomas Mailaender (based in Paris and Marseille)
Screening A Very Serious Job
Moderator: Nicola Setari
4:00 pm     Break
8:00 pm     Lieven Gevaert Leerstoel Lectures (at deBuren, Leopoldstraat 6, 1000 Brussel)
Paulien Oltheten (based in Amsterdam)
Sifting and sorting / centrifugal thoughts
Hilde D’haeyere (KASK School of Arts, University College Ghent)
CINEMACINE. Lecture on the Mechanisms of Screen Comedy
Moderators: Mieke Bleyen & Liesbeth Decan

9:30 pm                  Reception

Thursday, 14 April 2016
9:30 am    Coffee & registration
10:00 am     Keynote lecture
Esther Leslie (Birkbeck University of London)
Photography and Laughter’s Shattered Articulation
Moderator: Edwin Carels
11:00 am    Coffee break
11:15 am     Alexandra Olivia Tait (University College London)
Düsseldorf’s Commedia dell’Arte: Artistic Self-Staging in polke/richter richter/polke (1966)
11:45 am    Ann Kristin Krahn (Braunschweig University of the Arts)
Adding a Giggle: Lee Friedlander’s Practice of the “Shadow Self-Portrait”
12:15 pm     Andrei Venghiac (based in Gothenburg) 
Reflections on the Concept of Play
Moderator: Volkmar Mühleis
12:45 pm    Lunch break
2:00 pm     George Emeka Agbo (University of the Western Cape)
Facebook and Photographic Humourisation of Political Activism in Nigeria

2:30 pm     Katarzyna Ruchel-Stockmans (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
Uneasy laughter. Photography and Humor in Poland
3:00 pm     David Helbich (based in Brussels)
Being Part of the Problem is the Solution. Sharing and Conceptual Art. On "Belgian Solutions" and "Trying to Look Like a Building"
3:30 pm     Kevin Atherton (based in Dublin; National College of Art and Design, Dublin)
Performing the Performance Documentation 
Moderator: Els Opsomer
4:00 pm     Mieke Bleyen (KU Leuven) & Liesbeth Decan (LUCA School of Arts)
Closing remarks
4:15 pm    Reception