Brutal Devotions: Doug Ischar's Recent Films—Lauren Berlant, David Getsy, and Doug Ischar in Conversation


Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 6:00 p.m.
SAIC Ballroom, 112 S. Michigan Ave.

Doug Ischar's films explore desire, possession, memory, and devotion. Combining experimental video, found footage, and Ischar's wide knowledge of avant-garde music, his works confront viewers with agonistic attachments and obsessive seductions. After a screening of two recent short films (alone with you, 2011, and tristes tarzan, 2013), Ischar will discuss his recent work with Lauren Berlant (University of Chicago) and David Getsy (SAIC).

Doug Ischar received his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 1987 and is currently Associate Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has exhibited at White Columns, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Photographers Gallery, London; Blum Helman Gallery, New York; Mercer Union, Toronto; List Center for Visual Arts at MIT; Göteborgs Kunst Museum, Sweden; and the Museo de Arte Moderna de São Paolo, Brazil. He has received awards from the Illinois Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. His photographs, installations, and films have been exhibited widely, and his work is included in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and the Norton Family Collection, Santa Monica. He is currently in the 2014 Whitney Biennial, where he is exhibiting the films included in this screening.

Lauren Berlant teaches at the University of Chicago, where she is the George M. Pullman Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature. Her national sentimentality trilogy—The Anatomy of National Fantasy (1991), The Queen of America Goes to Washington City: Essays on Sex and Citizenship (1997), and The Female Complaint: The Unfinished Business of Sentimentality in American Culture (2008)—morphed into a quartet, with Cruel Optimism (2011), that addresses transnational precarious publics and the aesthetics of affective adjustment in the contemporary United States and Europe. Her interest in affect, aesthetics, and politics is also expressed in the edited volumes Intimacy (2000), Compassion (2004), and On the Case (Critical Inquiry, 2007). Her most recent books are Desire/Love (2012) and, with Lee Edelman, Sex, or the Unbearable (2014).

David Getsy is the Goldabelle McComb Finn Distinguished Professor of Art History and Chair of the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at SAIC. His books include Scott Burton: Collected Writings on Art and Performance (2012), Rodin: Sex and the Making of Modern Sculpture (2010), and Body Doubles: Sculpture in Britain, 1877–1905 (2004). His current work focuses on transgender and queer capacities in contemporary art and performance. In addition to recent articles on this topic in the journals GLQ: A Lesbian and Gay Quarterly, TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, Criticism, PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, and Art Journal, his upcoming editing projects include a special issue of TSQ on "Trans* Cultural Production" and an anthology on queer abstraction. His new book, Abstract Bodies: Sixties Sculpture in the Expanded Field of Gender, will be released in spring 2015.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Film, Video, New Media and Animation.