Lectures can be great ways to think. It forces all of us to understand what we are doing as we communicate our practice, with words, to others. It has a therapeutic quality as well. The above images reflect the following;
- Jean-Ulrick Désert, Infinite Island Lecture, Brooklyn Museum of Art NY organized by curator Tumelo Mosaka (2007)
- Jean-Ulrick Désert, FIFA Lecture Stadtmuseum München organized by Kulturreferatmuenchen/ Munich CulturalCouncil (2006)
- Jean-Ulrick Désert, W.E.B. duBois Lecture Series, American Studies program, Humboldt University Berlin(2010)
- Jean-Ulrick Désert Pecha Kucha No.1 Berlin Lecture No.1 (2006)
- Sara Hermann (with Jose Noceda of The Wilfredo Lam) Lectures on "Invisible Geographies" at the Havana Biennale
I participated in a 7minute lecture challenge- perhaps not unlike the the TED Lectures in the Berlin component of the Pecha Kucha Lectures (which originated in Japan).
The format is simply 22 slides with a time duration of 22seconds per slide for content narration.
Or directly on their Pecha Kucha site at: http://pechakucha.de/video/PechaKucha_060412_jean_ulrick_desert.mp4
These invited lectures within the academic environments are perhaps the most fulfilling for me personally because of the engagement with the students- that said, the public venues in museums are always a challenge given their public nature. I often never read a prepared "paper" given that I believe the immediacy of connecting with each particular audience is of great value. The most complex moments arise when one has an audience whose personal concerns are so removed from my own- Thus my work is challenged to speak on its own and at times expand through the lens of an audience.
Some talks have been much fun to deliver- such as my White(ness) Lessons Lecture delivered with a tongue-in-cheek tone to the American Studies Program students at Humboldt University the day following my W.E.B.du Bois Lecture http://www.whitelessons.blogspot.com/
But sometimes the table has been turned and I attend a scholars lecture where my art practice comprises part of the speakers content. In this instance I am most humbled by their study of my work within the larger context of contemporary art practice.
Notably I think of several practitioners thus far who have expressed such eloquence. Dr. Isabel Hoving of Leiden University (Netherlands) who gave the opening lecture at my White Man project at BRUCE Rotterdam . Deeply committed to semiotic theory Prof.Hoving iterated a unique Dutch cultural viewpoint about the virtues of Dutch directness which is not shared by other cultures- where the tactic of bringing something into focus is done through the margins, an analogy in her assessment of my working practice. Whereas Art theorist Jennifer Gonzales of UC Santa Cruz (US) reached a certain set of conclusions that spoke of the "emptying out of meaning" as a methodology of reinventing the familiar. I am particularly interested in Gonzales' and Sara Hermann's views as all three of us are rooted in the Caribbean experience. Ms.Hermann of the Centro Cultural Eduardo León Jimenes (Domincan Republic) speaks about my work within the locus of the Dominican experience of the Western edge, a euphemism for Haiti's enforced absence (as i often say that my artworks are often concerned with conspicuous invisibility) a concept she elaborates on in her book on the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection entitled Geografias (in)visibles. I am endlessly fascinated by the work of these scholars / writers /theorists /historians as they articulate a living dialogue we are all having as cultural makers.