Art Vapours

Kristensen, J C and Pui San Lok, Susan. 2015. Art Vapours. [Project]

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Creators: Kristensen, J C and Pui San Lok, Susan
Abstract or Description:

The project Art Vapours began in 2015 following a joint editorship with susan pui san lok and Raiford Guins of a special issue of the Journal of Visual Culture on the 40th Anniversary of the publication and broadcast of John Berger’s seminal book and TV series Ways of Seeing.

In editing this publication, I carried out interviews with the designer of the book Richard Hollis and the producer of the TV series Mike Dibb, to explore the question of how the book and the TV series were made. The joint interview was subsequently published in the Journal of Visual Culture.

During the course of interviewing, Mike Dibb gave me access to his personal archive of letters he had received over the course of the TV show’s broadcast. At the same time, susan pui san lok and I began discussing the peculiar scene in the episode on women, in which Berger interviews four women about looking and seeing.

The first result of these joint events became a joint published article in the online publication Mnemoscape Magazine, which drew on one of the letters I had uncovered written by a self-described ‘ordinary house wife’, the script of the peculiar scene of women speaking in the TV Series, and the gestures of the women speaking. This article was centred on the absence and presence of women’s voices and bodies in narrating their own lives and experiences, and included a speculative piece of writing around the ‘ordinary housewife’, a series of still images capturing the gestures of Berger’s speaking women, and a redacted script of the scene noting only the presence of binary gender positions.

Subsequently, susan pui san lok and I delivered a performance lecture around this article to a specialist conference on John Berger and his work. In this lecture, we critically and creatively interrogated how women speak and how women see, drawing on the trope of the ‘ordinary housewife’ and speculatively situating her in her domestic space, speaking about how images and objects intersected with the narration of her own experiences.

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Keywords: visual culture, women, representation, Ways of Seeing, John Berger
Departments, Centres and Research Units: Design
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Item ID: 25352
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2018 14:53
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2023 11:07


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