17 November 2016
Prof. Adam Jaworski, School of English, HKU
Writing as spectacle



This talk is a preliminary, work-in-progress inquiry into the idea of writing as ‘spectacle’. I will discuss several examples of large scale, extravagant, immersive writing in art and public signage exemplifying three approaches to spectacle: ‘consumerist representation’ (Guy Debord), ‘visual pleasure’ (Laura Mulvey) and ‘grotesque ritual’ (Mikhail Bakhtin). Some of the artists to be discussed in the talk include Fiona Banner (1966–), Alighiero Boetti (1940–1994), Ahmet Güneştekinin (1966–), Robert Indiana (1928–), Roman Opałka (1931–2011), Cy Twombly (1928–2011) and Xu Bing (1955–). In conclusion, I will reflect on how the scale, repetition and materiality of spectacularization position writing somewhere between ‘an enigmatic projection of our own bodies’ (Barthes) and broader questions of signification and meaning-making.



Last updated: 14 November 2016