Extreme: Visual Representation and the Body

Extreme image by Richard Swift
Date: 25 - 26 June 2009
Venue: Anglia Ruskin University Recital Hall, East Road, Cambridge

Keynote speakers: Prof Lisa Coulthard (University of British Columbia), Dr Dominic Johnson (Queen Mary, University of London)

This interdisciplinary event explored the notion of the extreme in visual representations of the body in the context of both critical theories and artistic practices. On June 25, there was a 12-hour durational performance, 'Mapping Maternity' at Covent Garden drama studio, Cambridge (10.00 - 22.00). Audiences were free to come and go at their leisure.

This production was followed by a one day symposium on June 26, devoted to an examination of the concept of the extreme in art, performance and film. Presentations addressed such topics as: temporality and the body, representations of death and corpses, live art practice, extreme aurality, trauma and the ethics of spectatorship in the cinema of sensation. There were also accompanying exhibitions by contemporary artists.

Extreme: Visual Representation and the Body was the inaugural event for Representation, Identity, Body, a research unit that deals with questions of representation, identity and body. RIB explores these areas of inquiry in a diverse range of media, including cinema, television, virtual media, theatre, performance, literature and art.

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