May 9: Robert C. Morgan

5 May

On May 9 at 1 PM, Robert C. Morgan (Professor Emeritus in art history at the Rochester Institute of Technology) will give a graduate lecture at the Faculty of Humanities titled “On Throwing Down the Key: Rethinking Art as Tactile Involvement.” This graduate lecture (open to all master students at the faculty, including VAMA) is convened by Diederik Oostdijk and Katja Kwastek.

There was a time in the 1970s when loft living in lower Manhattan was a mainstream part of the art world and when studio visits were a regular part of what critics did in relation to seeing and writing about exhibitions. The floors and ceilings of these studio spaces were inherited from old warehouses in the lower west side of Manhattan and in a bad condition. The walls were unpainted, the electricity was scarce, the tap water was cold, and there were few buzzers on doorways. To get inside the premises of one of these buildings meant you had to call on a pay phone and/or shout the artist’s name in a loud voice. The artist-resident would then look out the window and throw down the front door key in an old sock.

During this Graduate Lecture, Robert C. Morgan takes us on virtual tour of these bygone years of art practice to explore art as tactile involvement. Professor Morgan does not necessarily use it in the recent quasi-scientific meaning of this term, but more in the sense that art, someone or something may touch you in a particular way. It is an issue that proves particularly relevant when zooming in on the contemporary art world, as Morgan will reveal.

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