The lecture will take place at Hordaland Kunstsenter in collaboration with Trykkeriet – center for contemporary printmaking.

Ruth Pelzer-Montada´s talk will focus on the works of two artists, Australian Brook Andrew and German Christiane Baumgartner. In discussing their woodcuts, she will argue that their particular material methods result in effects that slow down the viewer’s experience of viewing and thus increase the critical potential of the (photographic) image. Both utilize camera-based images as their source material, hence, their particular approaches to and uses of print processes imply a questioning of the unproblematic transparency that is linked to the camera-based image. ‘Slowing down’ or ‘decelerating’ our apperception, especially of photographic images, is important because their easy availability and speed of dissemination have increased the implicit transparency that has arguably been one of the photograph’s most prominent attributes. As Roland Barthes said in Camera Lucida: «a photograph is always invisible: it is not it that we see». Digital processes have furthered this ‘fantasy of the pure image’ (Lucy Soutter), but the two artists demonstrate how print can successfully undermine it.

Now you see it, now you don’t – contemporary printmaking and ephemerality

The talk draws on French philosopher Christine Buci-Glucksmann’s ideas of a new kind of ephemerality that manifests in the so-called ‘flux-image’. While Buci-Glucksmann refers to new media art of the early 2000s as an example of this new image type, Pelzer-Montada will argue and show that ephemerality can also be observed in the pictorial elements as well as the processes and materials of artists who use print. The artists whose work will be discussed are Tatu Tuominen, Oscar Muñoz, Scotland-based Poster Club, Michael Fullerton and Ciara Phillips. By referring to Turner Prize nominee 2017 Andrea Büttner’s work, Pelzer-Montada will also show how print can be used to problematize and counter this new ephemerality.

Ruth Pelzer-Montada, PhD, is an artist and lecturer in Contemporary Art and Visual Culture in the School of Art at Edinburgh College of Art, The University of Edinburgh. She has participated in exhibitions in Scotland and abroad and regularly contributes to national and international academic conferences. Her texts on printmaking and contemporary art have appeared in national and international journals, such as Art in Print, Art Journal, Visual Culture in Britain, Print Quarterly. Her anthology Perspectives on contemporary printmaking: critical writing since 1986 is published by Manchester University Press and will be available from August this year.

Read about professor Ruth Pelzer-Montada’s research profile here: