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Invitation to Defense of Anja Manfredi

Organisational Units
Art Theory and Cultural Studies
Location Description

The Institute for Art Theory and Cultural Studies of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna kindly invites you to the Defense of Anja Manfredi’s dissertation project Gesture in the Image.

The Defense Committee is made up of: Dr.phil. Ruby Jana Sircar (chair), Ao.Univ.-Prof. Doz. Mag. Dr. Felicitas Thun-Hohenstein (1st supervisor), Univ.-Prof. Dr. Nicole Haitzinger (2nd supervisor), and Univ.-Prof. Dr.phil. Ana Hoffner (external appraiser, Mozarteum University).

This dissertation project, Gesture in the Image, is an investigation into the concept of gesture, from the perspective of the body to the transfer into the imaging medium of analogue photography, in contemporary art and cultural production. How can thinking, which becomes visible and transparent as gestures, be materialised in photography?

The dissertation is structured like an exhibition, with three rooms or spaces. The first is an introduction to the concept of the gesture (referencing Vilém Flusser, Giorgio Agamben, Judith Butler – abstracted gestures in philosophy, spotlights on gestures in a historical space or room). It is followed by the room of Aby Warburg, who introduced artistic thinking into research. This way of thinking and working serves as a reference and method to curate the pictorial atlas to gesture in the present. A guiding figure in this work, both in content and form, is the figure of Atlas, as a mythological apparition, together with its environment and as a visual form. The pictorial atlas as a workshop of knowledge and a reflection on the pictures and their fates.

In the third exhibition space, the third chapter, significant artists are presented under the following categories: 1) An Arsenal of Gestures – Gendered Gestures?, 2) (Self)-Analysis via Photography and the Arrangement of Material, 3) Afterlives and Transformations, 4) Thinking as Gesture that is Materialised in Photography or in Objects as Bodies, 5) Solidarity and Interconnectedness between Species. Thus, with the help of this research and analyses, the question of the (materialised) gesture is finally pursued in order to discover whether and how a gesture exposes what is concealed.

Anja Manfredi (*1978) lives and works as an artist in Vienna. Graduated at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and at School of Artistic Photography, directed by Friedl Kubelka, she became the Director in 2010. Since 2016 she is member of the Association of Visual Artists Wiener Secession. Historical and cultural constructions and forms of gestures and poses are a continual topic in Anja Manfredi´s work. Local and international exhibitions, including solo exhibitions at the Museum der Moderne Salzburg (2013) and at the House of Art, Budweis (2015). Artist-in-residency in Rome, in Paris, in New York City and Herzliya/Tel Aviv. Manfredi is the winner of the Outstanding Artist Award for Artistic Photography (2017). and the DZ Bank Art Foundation Grant (2021/22). Editor of the publications "Raum gewordene Blicke in die Sterne" (2020), "Geste und analoge Photographie" (2020), "Die ersten 30 Jahre - Photographie" (2020), "Die Südtiroler Siedlung oder Das Gedächtnis der Häuser, der Pflanzen und der Vögel" (2021).

We are welcoming you to the defense!