Art and Time | Media

Seminar: Juli Carson

Aesthetics of Repetition: the Case for Oscar Masotta

Dezember 12, 2013 – Semperdepot 1.Stock – Medienklasse (I27)

Juli Carson will present and discuss a “case study” for a practice of repetition, one conceived in Buenos Aires by Oscar Masotta amidst an onslaught of military coups that would eventually lead to the Dirty War of the 1970s and 1980s. On this Argentine field we encounter Masotta’s Lacanian interpretation of the happening, a model that lays the foundation for a psychoanalytic branch of conceptualism highly relevant today for a group of international, contemporary artists interested in critical aesthetics–that tripartite investigation of art, politics, and theory.

In Masotta’s times, critical aesthetics entailed simultaneously negotiating the strategies of the neo-avant-garde, a wave of military coups, and the introduction of Lacan’s theorization of the subject. This combination of disciplines, historical events, and intellectual ruminations now repeats among a select group of contemporary practitioners. But this repetition is no mere duplication…

Newspaper image from 1966 anti-happening
Oscar Masotta, Para inducer al espíritu de la imagen,
Instituto Torcuato di Tella, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1966.

Juli Carson is Associate Professor in the Department of Art at UCIrvine where she directs the Critical and Curatorial MFA Program and the University Art Galleries. Her essays on conceptual art and psychoanalysis have been published in Art Journal, Documents, October, Texte Zur Kunst and X-Tra, as well as in numerous international anthologies and catalogues. She is author of Exile of the Imaginary: Politics, Aesthetics, Love (Vienna: Generali Foundation, 2007) and The Limits of Repre- sentation: Psychoanalysis and Critical Aesthetics (Buenos Aires: Letra Viva Press, 2011). Her forthcoming book, The Concep- tual Unconscious: A Poetics of Critique will be published by PoLyPen.