Process Wing

Performing the Posthuman Subject in Photography

Performing the Posthuman Subject in Photography

Running 1-2:30pm Sat 13 July
Free. Booking required.
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An initiative of Becks Butler
Hosted by the Critical Academy

The term posthumanism refers to a condition which observes characteristics beyond the concept of the human. In her writings The Posthuman, Rosi Braidotti explores critical posthumanism as a move beyond perspectives of the human subject. She opens on the concept of man as a privileged being who is capable of using objects and others for his own perfection. Braidotti argues that because of this, humanism became an ideological aid that contributed to the dynamic between ‘self’ and ‘other’. She suggests that humanism and the ideal representation of ‘man’ has deep roots in social and political issues such as racism, fascism, gender inequality, war and much more. It wasn’t until Foucault published The Order of Things that academics began to truly question and deconstruct the meaning of the human.

Three artists will take part in a discussion group which will explore the ephemeral nature of humanity through the deconstruction of subject within imagery, addressing concepts within their own practice. The discussion aims to engage critical thinking around concepts of the subject within photography, particularly in Irish photographic culture, touching upon the following questions:

  • The subject as a performed entity within photography.
  • The photograph as a space which allows this performance to occur.
  • Can this type of framework help us to clearly deconstruct our understanding of subject?
  • How do we choose to represent subject through photography?
  • Does the photograph act as a realistic observation/representation of subject?

The discussion will be chaired by Becks Butler, with artists Vera Ryklova and Fanfa Otal Simal.

About Becks Butler

Becks Butler is currently a researcher on the MA Art and Research Collaboration, IADT. Her work explores subject, human behaviours and origins. She exhibited her solo show Pushing Boundaries at illuminations in 2017 and has presented work in various group shows. Her collections have been purchased by the Royal Irish Academy and private collectors. Becks has collaborated on projects with IMMA and Oonagh Young Gallery and has most recently been awarded the 2019 Wexford Percent for Art Commission with her collaborators Astrid Newman and Ciara Roche. Her recent shows include h.o.m.e at A4 Sounds and meatspace at the RIA.