Art & Art History
Voices: Hannah Feldman
Gallery 400 Lecture Room
400 South Peoria Street
This lecture, “In Plain Sight,” focuses on a series of clandestine photographs taken by photojournalists during the violent police suppression of an Algerian manifestation that took place in Paris near the end of the Algerian War of Independence. Known now by the date of 17 October 1961, this manifestation and its repression have come to assume a central place in history of both French police culture and the Algerian advance to national sovereignty. Little attention, however, has been paid to the mechanics of how the Algerians’ claims to representability were articulated visually, either by those who organized the march or those who marched. Attending to the manifestation through these specific visual traces, Feldman argues, enables us to theorize a counter-politics of picturing in a period now understood, at least in art historical terms, as assimilated into the hegemonic ascendance of spectacle. Against this characterization, the photographic documents produced on the night of 17 October 1961 demonstrate how models of appropriative imagistic practice engineered a public sphere organized “in plain sight,” which is to say around the refusal of invisibility and in view of a subject dislocated from the false strictures of a singular national subjectivity.
Hannah Feldman received a PhD in History of Art from Columbia University and is Assistant Professor at Northwestern University where she researches and teaches late modern and contemporary art and visual culture.