May 7, 2017, 2PM

Coffee and Conversation: Virtual Histories: A Closer Look at Chris Marker’s Ouvroir with Hilary R. Whitham


Hilary portraitChris Marker_Ouvroir_8

Enjoy a complimentary cup of coffee and join Penn History of Art PhD Hilary R. Whitham for an intimate conversation about Chris Marker’s Ouvroir, the Movie (2010), featured in Myths of the Marble.

This event is free and open to the public; register here.

In an interview in 2010 via Second Life (SL), filmmaker Chris Marker asserted that he was not interested in politics, but rather history. Marker’s notion of history, however, is dialectical. He creates works of art firmly grounded in the present which incorporate references to the past that flash up at us. For example, his avatar, Guillaume the Cat, who leads us through the museum he constructed within SL and which he offers us glimpses of in Ouvroir, the Movie, conjures several important historical Guillames―particularly Apollinaire, the poet.

Yet Marker’s work is not only invested in remembering the past but also in imagining the future: Ouvroir concludes with the question, asking us what will we do as witnesses to history? In this Coffee & Conversation, Whitham will discuss the potentialities and limits of historical comparisons and the way in which art opens up a unique space for these types of imaginings.

Hilary R. Whitham is a PhD candidate in the History of Art Department at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is writing a dissertation on the impact of African sculpture and performance on the Dada movement. Her ongoing research interests include modern and contemporary art in Western Europe and sub-Saharan Africa and the history of photography. Whitham is a founding member of the Incubation Series, which brings together students in the History of Art and Fine Art departments for curatorial collaborations, and is sponsored by the Penn Provost’s Interdisciplinary Arts Fund in collaboration with the Institute of Contemporary Art.