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Lectures by Prof. Chris Dorsett

Titian-Tagore-Transition (screening)

5 Jun 2019

The screening of this experimental video by Prof. Chris Dorsett will include a short introduction about the origins of the video in Giorgio Agamben’s book The Open: Man and Animal (2004) and will be followed by a discussion.The Venetian artist Tiziano Vecellio(1488-1576), better known in the art world as Titian, painted The Three Ages of Man and Nymph and Shepherd five decades apart. A correspondence in subject matter has been noted by art historians but the first painting buzzes youthfully with a surfeit of iconographic meaning, whereas the second is considerably darker in mood, perhaps representing the ageing painter’s disenchanted farewell to art.Chris Dorsett’s video cross-fades these iconic European images with a sound track based on a Rabindranath Tagore song, Hriday aamaar prakash holo. Two recordings were used: the classic 1956 version by Suchitra Mitra made for domestic markets on the Indian sub-continent and Zoe Rahman’s 2012 adaption that speaks to the multi-cultural interests of a present-day jazz audience in the West.Chris Dorsett is an Artist and Professor Emeritus of Fine Art from Northumbria University. He is currently Research Affiliate at the Pitt Rivers Museum with an interest in South Asian Art, in particular Tantra. His career as an artist has been built on curatorial partnerships with collection-holding institutions. In the UK he is best known for a sequence of exhibitions held at the Pitt Rivers Museum between 1985 and 1994. His many overseas projects include museum ‘interventions’ across the Nordic region and fieldwork residencies in the Amazon and at the walled village of Kat Hing Wai in the New Territories of Hong Kong. He has written extensively about the interface between experimental art practices and the museum/heritage sector. His publications include: ‘Exhibitions and their prerequisites’, in Issues in curating: Contemporary art and performance (2007); ‘Making meaning beyond display’, in Museum materialities: Objects, engagements, interpretations (2009); ‘Things and theories: The unstable presence of exhibited objects’, in The thing about museums: Objects and experience, representation and contestation (2011); ‘The pleasure of the holder: Media art, museum collections and paper money’, in the International Journal of Arts and Technology and ‘Studio ruins: Describing unfinishedness’, in Studies in Material Thinking (both 2018 ).

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