Speak, body: Art, the Reproduction of Capital and the Reproduction of Life

Funded: 2016-2017

Project Leaders: Rose-Anne Gush, Tom Hastings, Sophie Jones, Gill Park

The project conference, “Speak, body: Art, the Reproduction of Capital and the Reproduction of Life”, addressed the juncture of the “body” in art in relation to feminism(s) and capitalism, through the period 1960–1980. The “body” is taken to be a historically contingent concept, up for contestation. Today we are witnessing a massive conservative retrenchment in the political and legal spheres concerning images of the body, from anti -woman bans on images of female ejaculation in pornography to the far-right deployment of racist iconography in the mass media coverage of Brexit and the Trump campaign. Our conference sought to challenge the hyper-mediated landscape that has propelled the global right, by considering how a previous generation of artists, who focused on the body in their works, responded to dominant social conditions. Speak, body set out to investigate artworks that emerged coincident with the crisis of capitalism in the 1960s and 1970s in order to consider what they can tell us about contemporary transformations in art and politics.

Download the full conference report with pictures