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Katrine Annesdatter-Madsen: Posthumanism in the Feminist Avant-Gardes of the 1970s

All are welcome to Aesthetic Seminar

Info about event


Thursday 9 March 2023,  at 14:15 - 16:00


Kasernen, Langelandsgade 139, 8000 Aarhus C. Building 1584, Door B, Room 124

Within the last 10-20 years, art institutions and academia have shown great interest in the feminist avantgardes of the 1970s. The reactualization of the 1970s coincides with contemporary artistic and philosophical practices of the so-called material and posthuman ‘turn(s)’. What does contemporary aesthetics owe to the explorations of the agency of matter in 1970s feminist art? My PhD project is part of the research project The Feminist Legacy in Art Museums (FLAME). FLAME investigates the institutionally marginalized practices of a Norwegian feminist avantgarde of the 1970s. My presentation will challenge the myth of the so-called essentialism of the 1970s, a critique that goes hand in hand with the prevailing discomfort with body and matter in Western culture. I will do so by sharing my work on artist Sidsel Paaske’s (1937-1980) graphical score Blått brev (Blue Letter). The piece measures 22 meters in length and was made for Molde jazz festival in 1979. At the opening of the festival, musicians improvised to the piece made in watercolor on parchment. Blått brev is an exploration of the watery rhythms and flows shaping the human body as well as deep time geological events. Differing from the explicit political art that characterizes the practices of many of Paaske’s male colleagues, I will discuss how Blått brev can be said to embody a feminist material politics.

Katrine Annesdatter-Madsen is a PhD Fellow in art history at the University of Bergen, Norway. She holds a BA and MA in Scandinavian studies and visual art and visual culture from Aarhus University. She is part of the NFR-funded research project The Feminist Legacy in Art Museums (FLAME). Her project develops a (new) materialist and posthuman approach to feminist art in 1970’s Norway. She explores themes such as water and rhythm, metamorphoses of body and nature, care for matter, play and imagination. Her overall research interests are: women’s avantgarde art in the 20th century, relational art, affect theory, posthumanism and (new) materialism.

  • Aesthetic Seminar F-2023 Program
  • Aesthetic Seminar F-2023 Poster

Aesthetic Seminar F-2023 is organised by Bodil Marie Stavning Thomsen and Morten Kyndrup on behalf of School of Communication and Culture, Aarhus University.