Artists Space

Pablo Lafuente on Interpellation

July 15, 2011, 7pm

In the context of Hilary Lloyd’s exhibition, writer, editor and curator Pablo Lafuente presents a lecture on the subject of interpellation in moving-image artwork, exploring what role (if any) pleasure might have in relation to it.

Critical moving image theory, like critical theories of the spectacle, typically identifies the crux of a work’s emancipatory potential in its ability to exert change in the viewers’ consciousness or, perhaps more loosely, their ways of thinking about perception. This change is often conceived as involving discomfort, even violence: as if to reflect that, in order to break away from the subjugating codes and structures in which a viewer is immersed, the critical film needs to destabilize them, dislocate them, alienate them.
The ‘suffering’ or displeasure that characterizes the movement of emancipation also characterizes the reverse movement – that of interpellation, by which individuals are drawn into a process of subjection. Ideological constructions, it is assumed, operate through discipline. But can pleasure be part of this equation – not pleasure resulting from the actual discipline, but a pleasure that is the origin of processes of subjectivation? In this talk, writer, editor and curator Pablo Lafuente will explore - taking Hilary Lloyd’s work as a case study - whether this can be the case, and, if so, whether pleasure might then lead to processes that are emancipatory or exactly the opposite. 

After the presentation Lafuente will be joined by New York based writer Saul Anton, to respond to and discuss the ideas raised within the talk.

Pablo Lafuente is the co-editor of Afterall journal and Afterall Books, and an associate curator at the Office for Contemporary Art Norway, Oslo. He leads the MRes Art: Exhibition Studies at Central Saint Martins in London, and is the co-curator of Norway's representation at the 54th Venice Biennale.

Saul Anton is a critic, writer and theorist who works on modern aesthetics, the critical theory of culture and contemporary art. He is the author of Warhol's Dream and the translator of Jean-Luc Nancy's Discourse of the Syncope: Logodaedalus. Anton currently teaches at the New School in New York and the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. He is currently writing two books, The Vestige of Enlightenment: Figures of Decline in the Eighteenth Century and Lee Friedlander's Little Screens.