Appel à communication : « Doubt and Visual Representation » (Cork, Irlande, 10-11 mai 13)

“If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at 
least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.” 

                                    RENÉ DESCARTES

We encounter doubt every day. From the inane to the important, doubt  infiltrates almost every thought, feeling and circumstance. Yet, what is doubt ? Can doubt be defined? What does doubt involve ? Thinking about artistic production and visual representation, in what ways can doubt be a catalyst for change ? How might doubt alter our  perception ? Is doubt problematic or productive ? Is doubt historically specific or contingent ? The UCC History of Art Symposium Committee, invite the submission of papers exploring the concept of doubt within modern and contemporary art and visual culture.  We accept proposals from a wide range of disciplines.

We welcome topics on, but not limited to: 

•    Doubt and artistic process – How might the artist struggle with medium and form? Investigations into doubt and materiality, erasure and re-working.

•    Doubt and affect– How is doubt experienced ? What occurs in our mind ? What happens in our body ? How might doubt be embodied in art and visual culture ?

•    Doubt and perception – How might doubt change our perception or view of reality ? How might doubt be an ethical/philosophical question ?

•    Doubt and reception – How does doubt effect spectatorship and criticism ? Reflections on the nature of doubt and vision – can we trust our own eyes ?

•    Doubt and modernity – How does doubt manifest itself in society ? How might social uncertainty be represented in art and visual culture ?  Consider in relation to economics, religion, media, politics etc.

•    Doubt and photography /film – Does the specificity of the medium elicit doubt ? Can we trust photography? To what extent is photography a performative act ? How does digital photography generate doubt ?

•    Doubt and memory – How can artists convey the uncertainty of memory through their given medium ?

•    Doubt and language – How can we rely on a system of signification which in itself is arbitrary ? Exploring the instability of meaning in relation to the image.


We invite graduate students to submit abstracts (maximum 500 words) and a brief CV to : by 1 March 2013.
Our symposium  will take place on 10th – 11th May, 2013 at University College Cork.

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