Symposium with Gemma Blackshaw

The Past in the Present: Reflections on Transmission

EDHEA’s Institute of Research in Fine Arts (IRAV) and Medical Borders research team (Andrea Bagnato, Raphaël Cuomo, Maria Iorio, Jelena Martinovic, Laurence Rasti) are pleased to announce The Past in the Present: Reflections on Transmission, a symposium organised on the occasion of Gemma Blackshaw’s workshop I care by… Care as Creative Research Method at MAPS.

The symposium centers around a conversation with artists, historians, architects, filmmakers, and curators on the phenomenon of transmission. Each guest lecturer has been asked to think about transmission: biomedical ideas of infection, the spreading and preventing of diseases, as well as its social and artistic implications, such as the ways in which knowledge is being transmitted, interrupted, or reactivated.

What has contagion done to artists? How have artists and critics activated chains of knowledge, including experiences of those who are excluded, to bring forward new ways of transmission? These are some of the questions the symposium seeks to ask by looking at memories of buildings and how they shape lives around infection, examining intergenerational trauma, and proposing new ways to create museums and community-run archives.

Talks mixing academic presentation, testimony, and performative elements, will be followed by short close readings of archival objects and a conclusion by Gemma Blackshaw.

Date & Schedule

April 6, 2023
EDHEA main building (Route de la Bonne-Eau 16, Sierre)

13h30 Welcome coffee
14h00 Introduction
14h30 A Museum at Times, Lucia Bernini, Jonas Heller (architects)
15h00 When lack of transmission silences the past, Salvatore Bevilacqua (anthropologist, IHM Lausanne)
15h30 The Becoming of a School, Maximilien Urfer, Robert Ireland (artists)
16h30 Close readings: Andrea Bagnato (architect, curator), Raphaël Cuomo (artist film maker), Maria Iorio (artist filmmaker), Laurence Rasti (photographer)
17h30 Closing remarks, Gemma Blackshaw (art historian, curator)
18h00 Drinks and Snacks

Gemma Blackshaw

Gemma Blackshaw, Professor Royal College of Arts London, is an interdisciplinary scholar, writer and curator who works on the intersection of modern and contemporary art and literature with questions of health and care.

Gemma is Senior Tutor for Research within the School of Arts & Humanities (SoAH). She leads the Fine Art & Humanities Pathway for MRes and supervises PhD projects, supporting postgraduate students’ practice-based research, especially in relation to their creative-critical writing. She is the originator of SoAH’s CARE postgraduate group, which meets to develop creative research methods that attend to the care of bodies, materials and environments across time, and co-editor of its two anthologies of 2021 and 2022.

A specialist on Egon Schiele, Gemma has curated several exhibitions, among which Body Electric: Erwin Osen and Egon Schiele (2021) at Leopold Museum Vienna.
Professor Gemma Blackshaw