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Upcoming Events

May 10

Essays in Words and Images


This is an exhibition of the works made by the MFA students in Kaja Silverman’s Art Now lecture course, which she teaches at Penn every spring, and the undergraduate and MFA students in Essays in Images and Words, the Speigel-Wilks Seminar that she and Sam Mapp taught at the ICA this past semester.


6:30 pm18:30


  • RC Building, E–2 Lecture Hall, Lower Level, Brooklyn Campus Brooklyn USA

STILL/MOVING is a panel discussion featuring esteemed guest Kaja Silverman, Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, in conversation with two Pratt Institute Faculty: Photography Department Visiting Associate Professor Carrie Schneider and Social Science and Cultural Studies Adjunct Professor Kathleen Kelley, also a Philosophy PhD candidate at The New School for Social Research.

The conversation will draw from Schneider’s recent lens-based work as well as Silverman and Kelley's recent scholarship, investigating the psychological and media-specific qualities inherent to still and moving image media, and the implications of shooting a body of work in both.

Reception and book signing for Carrie Schneider: Nine Trips Around the Sun to follow at 8 PM.


6:00 pm18:00

James Welling in Conversation with Kaja Silverman and Alex Klein

  • Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania

Renowned American photographer James Welling will discuss his work with Kaja Silverman, Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, and Alex Klein, Dorothy and Stephen Weber Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art.

Nov 6

Victor Burgin / Then and Now

  • Slought Foundation

Slought is pleased to announce Victor Burgin / Then and Now. The exhibition, curated by Kaja Silverman and Homay King, includes a photographic series, US 77 (1977), and three digital projection works, Prairie (2015), A Place to Read (2010), and The Little House (2005). These works will be on display from September 13, 2016- November 6, 2016.

Victor Burgin is a highly influential artist and a renowned theorist of the still and moving image who first came to prominence in the late 1960s as one of the originators of Conceptual Art. In the 1970s his work consisted mainly of large framed photographic sequences, involving printed texts either juxtaposed with or superimposed on the image. At the beginning of the 1990s he turned towards digital video, but video from the point-of-view of photography – for example, Burgin is particularly interested in the relation between stasis and movement. As the historian and critic Stephen Bann has written, "this progressive exploitation of new technologies is itself fairly uninteresting compared with the remarkable consistency of the underlying themes and propositions of his work." Throughout Burgin's work there is a constant attention to the space 'between' the viewer and the object – to the 'real' world as seen through the prism of narrative, memory and fantasy.

The loop that Burgin builds into many of his gallery video works, such as those on view at Slought, solicits from the viewer not so much a sense of uncanny déjà-vu, but a feeling similar to that of re-reading a favorite novel and discovering things in it that one had not noticed before. Our successive encounters with the images form strata, allowing us to sift through sheaths of citations. As Burgin puts it, the ideal viewer of his work is one "who accumulates her or his knowledge of the work, as it were, in 'layers'—much as a painting is created." Burgin's practice operates, to borrow a phrase from Gilles Deleuze, to provide "a story that no longer has a place...for places that no longer have a history." The task of both artist and viewer, then, is to provide the time and space for these sites' pasts, presents, and futures to be brought back into connection.

7:00 pm19:00

Worldwide Warhol: Restaurant (aka L’Avventura) and The Life of Juanita Castro

  • International House Philadelphia

Introduced by Dr. Homay King, History of Art Professor, Bryn Mawr College, who will be joined for a post-screening discussion by Iggy Cortez, PhD Candidate in the Department of the History of Art, University of Pennsylvania.

Restaurant (aka L’Avventura)

dir. Andy Warhol, US, 1965, 16mm, 34 min. b/w

The film begins with a close-up of a table in a restaurant covered with a checkered cloth, in a composition that strongly suggests a still life. It lingers there for a long time before beginning a slow outward zoom. All the while we overhear poorly recorded snippets of conversation. We see hands move in and out of the frame, lifting glasses and tapping cigarettes. We recognize Edie Sedgwick by her signature dancer's tights and jewelry. The group discuss a recent trip to Tangier; the conversation returns frequently to past and upcoming travel. At one point, a whole, uncut pineapple is delivered to their table, despite the fact that they are in an Italian restaurant: it is not meant to be eaten, but to evoke the possibility of adventure in exotic, semi-imaginary lands.

followed by:

The Life of Juanita Castro

dir. Andy Warhol, US, 1965, 16mm, 34 min. b/w

This film, loosely inspired by Fidel Castro's sister who defected from Cuba to the United States, features a script by Ronald Tavel, a frequent collaborator of Warhol's at this time. It is essentially a work of filmed theater. The actors are arranged in a tableau resembling a family portrait, at an oblique angle to the camera, and they deliver their lines in monotone. Often, their lines have to be fed to them: the poor acting style creates a Brechtian distancing effect, and becomes part of Warhol's project to include everything in his film works, even the bits that would normally be cast off.

This program is supported by Kaja Silverman and the Mellon Foundation’s Distinguished Achievement Award, the Katherine Stein Sachs and Keith L. Sachs Program in Contemporary Art in the Department of History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Alice Paul Center for the Study of Gender, Sexuality, and Women at the University of Pennsylvania

See here for tickets and more information

7:00 pm19:00

Art Talk: Kaja Silverman, Geoffrey Farmer, and Dan Byers

  • The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston

Kaja Silverman’s recent publication The Miracle of Analogy is the first of a two-volume rethinking of photography. Silverman writes that photography is the world’s primary way of revealing itself to us, and that the photographic image is an analogy rather than a copy, as commonly understood. Join Silverman as she introduces her poetic and influential ideas on image making. Artist Geoffrey Farmer, whose exhibition at the ICA presents new ways of thinking of photographic prints, will then join the author along with Dan Byers, Mannion Family Senior Curator, for a conversation on the power of images. 

Copies of The Miracle of Analogy will be available for purchase at the ICA Store.

6:30 pm18:30

Walid Raad and Kaja Silverman: A Conversation about Art, Museums, and the Middle East

  • Slought Foundation

Walid Raad is a Lebanese artist who makes videos, installations, photographs and sculptures, and whose work frequently has a performance component. From 1989-2004, Raad produced fictionalized photographs, videotapes, notebooks, and lectures that related to real events and involved authentic research in audio, film, and photographic archives in Lebanon, under the rubric of The Atlas Group, an imaginary collective.  Raad’s recent work has expanded to address the Middle East region at large. His current ongoing project, Scratching on things I could disavow, examines the recent emergence in the Arab world of a new infrastructure for the visual arts—art fairs, biennials, museums, and galleries—alongside the geopolitical, economic, and military conflicts that have consumed the region. He is also part of the Gulf Labor Artist Coalition, an international group working to ensure that migrant worker rights are protected during the construction of museums on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi.

Kaja Silverman is the Sachs Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, and the author of many books, including—most recently—The Miracle of Analogy, or: The History of Photography, Part I

5:30 pm17:30

Elise Archias, “Our Narrowness: Holding onto Modernism circa 1960”

  • Slought Foundation

This talk will consider Joan Mitchell’s paintings from the late 1950s as part of a larger project on the global persistence of abstract approaches to artistic form circa 1960. In light of the pop, minimal, and other literal art that would soon displace abstract painting in American and European galleries, Mitchell’s work can seem narrow—nostalgically bound to an alignment of feeling with material, coherent central structures, and distanced pictorial space. But how might we understand her to be building upon an unfinished conversation, historically dominated by me, talled n "all-overness," about what was necessary for transformative sociality to go forward within the still relatively new structures of modern life?  

Elise Archias is Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Illinois, Chicago and currently a fellow at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Her book The Concrete Body—Yvonne Rainer, Carolee Schneemann, Vito Acconci will be released by Yale University Press in Fall 2016.

Event sponsored by Professor Kaja Silverman’s Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award and the Department of the History of Art, University of Pennsylvania. Free and open to the public.

2:00 pm14:00

A Conversation with Joanna Scott

  • Classroom 2 Penn Museum

Armand De Potter was a self-made man: an immigrant who became a lecturer, tour operator, and antiquities dealer. But some regarded him as a charlatan, and many of the objects he exhibited at the Penn Museum (1898-1908) turned out to be forgeries. When he disappeared off the coast of Greece in 1905, his family was left with a trunkful of trinkets, a mountain of debts, and an unsolved mystery. In her most recent book, acclaimed novelist Joanna Scott attempts to reconstruct the final days of her great-grandfather, the notorious Armand De Potter.

Join Joanna Scott, who will read from her book and discuss the life of De Potter, the Penn Museum, and the early days of collecting with Penn professors Kaja Silverman and Robert Ousterhout. 

7:00 pm19:00

Kaja Silverman: A Conversation (Part I)

  • The Frederick P. Rose Auditorium

This seminar concentrates on the works of Kaja Silverman, and more particularly her recent book The Miracle of Analogy or The History of Photography, Part 1.  The seminar will be structured as a conversation between Walid Raad and Kaja Silverman.  Raad and Silverman will ask and hopefully answer each others’ questions about photography, psychoanalysis, ideology, writing, and other creative acts.

5:00 pm17:00

Princeton University, Program in Media and Modernity: New Books on New Media Series

  • Princeton University

                   Princeton University, School of Architecture, Room N107 at 5PM. 

The Miracle of Analogy is the first of a two-volume reconceptualization of photography. It argues that photography originates in what is seen, rather than in the human eye or the camera lens, and that it is the world's primary way of revealing itself to us. Neither an index, representation, nor copy, as conventional studies would have it, the photographic image is an analogy. This principle obtains at every level of its being: a photograph analogizes its referent, the negative from which it is generated, every other print that is struck from that negative, and all of its digital "offspring." The present volume focuses on the nineteenth century and some of its contemporary progeny. It begins with the camera obscura, which morphed into chemical photography and lives on in digital form, and ends with Walter Benjamin. Key figures discussed along the way include Nicéphore Niépce, Louis Daguerre, William Fox-Talbot, Jeff Wall, Joan Fontcuberta, Abelardo Morell and John Dugdale.

Kaja Silverman is the Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Professor of Contemporary Art, and the author of nine books: The Miracle of Analogy (2014); Flesh of My Flesh (2009); James Coleman (2002); World Spectators (2000); Speaking About Godard (with Harun Farocki, 1998); The Threshold of the Visible World (1996); Male Subjectivity at the Margins (1992); The Acoustic Mirror; The Female Voice in Psychoanalysis and Cinema (1988); and The Subject of Semiotics (1983).

Eduardo Cadava is the author of Words of Light: Theses on the Photography of History; Emerson and the Climates of History; and, with Fazal Sheikh, of Fazal Sheikh: Portraits. He also is co-editor of Who Comes After the Subject?; Cities Without Citizens; and And Justice for All?: The Claims of Human Rights; and The Itinerant Languages of Photography. His book La imagen en ruinas will appear this spring in Chile and his translation of Nadar’s memoirs will appear this fall with MIT Press. His collection of essays, Paper Graveyards: Essays on Art and Photography, is forthcoming from Princeton University Press.




Apr 11

Vulnerable Systems: A Screening of Video Works

  • Institute of Contemporary Art

Vulnerable Systems: A Screening of Video Works 
Curated by Jeanne Dreskin, Roksana Filipowska, and Mashinka Firunts

Featuring works by Hannah Black, Zach Blas, Deep Lab affiliate Allison Burtch (in collaboration with Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Aurelia Moser, and Adam Harvey), Frances Stark, and Ryan Trecartin, this screening will showcase interventions into tactics of transgression after new media.

Can performances of transgression take place within sites of informatic control? Rather than using new media as a tool for quantification, the selected works pursue connections via disembodied avatars while emphasizing the particularity of embodied agents. Certain of these depict relational encounters that exceed the constraints of their platforms. Others focus on the capacity for communication, kinship, and organizing through digital means. Others still use masking to evade modes of surveillance, often maintaining the expressive and affective dimensions of human actors. In each instance, recoded bodies issue communiqués from unlikely spaces of regulation.

Across these works, digitally rendered bodies are deployed as a ventriloquial trick. They throw their voices. They present transient, ephemeral identities. They court opacity, bypassing mechanisms of data mining and algorithmic parsing. Enabling transgressive forms of sociality, these works imagine how we might, as Wendy Chun suggests, “create vulnerable systems with which we can live.”

The Biocode screening is part of Biocode: Performing Transgression After New Media (, a three-day conference held at the University of Pennsylvania, April 9–11, 2015 focusing on tactics of resistance, disturbance, and defiance in response to modes of surveillance and state control after the digital turn.

6:00 pm18:00

MoMA Forum on Contemporary Photography

  • MoMA

Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

*This is event is by invitation only. Please tune in to MoMA's livestream to watch the event from home.

Conceived as an experimental platform for free-form critical discussions, the Forums on Contemporary Photography are designed to engage in debates about the perspectives and scope of contemporary photography with leading artists, curators, and theorists in the field.

For this forum, Kaja Silverman, the Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania will lead a discussion about her new book The Miracle of Analogy, the first of a two-volume reconceptualization of photography, published by Stanford University Press. Lead speakers Andre Dombrowski, Associate Professor of History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania; Eve Meltzer, Associate Professor of Visual Studies and Visual Culture in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University; and Howard Singerman, the Phyllis and Josef Caroff Professor of Fine Arts, Department Chair, Hunter College, City University of New York, will discuss with Ms. Silverman her present volume, which focuses on the nineteenth century and some of its contemporary progeny. It begins with the camera obscura, which morphed into chemical photography and lives on in digital form, and ends with Walter Benjamin. Key figures discussed along the way include Nicéphore Niépce, Louis Daguerre, William Fox-Talbot, Jeff Wall, Joan Fontcuberta, Abelardo Morell and John Dugdale .

Mar 14

Photography and Philosophy Conference

  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA is proud to announce “Photography and Philosophy,” a conference in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and sponsored by the Mellon Foundation. The event will take place at LACMA on March 13th and 14th. 

We began to explore the topic of “Photography and Philosophy” in nonsite’s 11th issue. The six essays included in that issue are intended as exchanges around three topics—the autonomy of the photographic image, automatism, and time and meaning—that will be the themes of three panels in a two-day conference at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, March 13 and 14, 2015.

Some of the featured speakers are

Walead Beshty
Viktoria Binschtok
Phil Chang
Todd Cronan
Thomas Demand
Josh Ellenbogen
Michael Fried
Farrah Karapetian
Walter Benn Michaels
Arthur Ou
Charles Palermo
Robert Pippin
Britt Salvesen
Kaja Silverman
A.L. Steiner
Anne Wagner
Jeff Wall
James Welling
Jennifer Wild
Marnin Young

The conference is sponsored by LACMA and by the Mellon Foundation and is organized by

5:00 pm17:00

Miracle of Analogy: A conversation about photography, the world, and the human psyche

  • slought
(detail) John Dugdale, Death Mask of John Keats, 1999. Cyanotype.

(detail) John Dugdale, Death Mask of John Keats, 1999. Cyanotype.

@ Slought 4017 Walnut St Philadelphia, PA 19104 

Slought and the Department of the History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania are pleased to announce "The Miracle of Analogy," an event featuring Kaja Silverman in conversation with Homay King and Alex Klein, on Friday, February 27, 2015 from 5-6:30pm. Visit for details.

The event will mark the release of Silverman's new book, The Miracle of Analogy, or The History of Photography, Part 1 (Stanford University Press, 2015).

Kaja Silverman is Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, and author of eight books, including Flesh of My Flesh(2009); James Coleman (2002);The Threshold of the Visible World(1996); and Male Subjectivity at the Margins (1992). Silverman wroteSpeaking About Godard—a book about couples--with Harun Farocki, her life partner from 1992-1999.

Homay King is Associate Professor of History of Art at Bryn Mawr College. She is the author ofLost in Translation: Orientalism, Cinema, and the Enigmatic Signifier, and the forthcomingVirtual Memory: Time-based Art and the Dream of Digitality. She is a contributor to the Metropolitan Museum of Art catalog for "China: Through the Looking-glass," which accompanies an exhibition opening at the museum in May 2015.

Alex Klein is the Dorothy and Stephen R. Weber (CHE'60) Program Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, and curator of the current exhibition at ICA, "Barbara Kasten: Stages," which is the first major survey of the artist's work. She is currently an "Agent" in the Carnegie Museum of Art's Hillman Photography Initiative as well as the editor of the critical volume on photography, Words Without Pictures (LACMA / Aperture, 2010).

Dec 20

Itinerant Belongings

@ Slought 4017 Walnut St Philadelphia, PA 19104 + Charles Addams Fine Arts Hall University of Pennsylvania 200 S. 36th Street Philadelphia, PA 19104

Organized by Charlotte Ickes and Iggy Cortez with generous support from the Sachs Programming Fund, Mellon Foundation/Kaja Silverman, Provost's Interdisciplinary Arts Fund, History of Art Department, Fine Arts Department, The Annenberg School for Communication, Cinema Studies, The Penn Humanities Forum, Visual Studies, Center for Africana Studies, Jewish Studies, School of Social Policy and Practice, and Urban Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

 Slought, the History of Art and the Fine Arts Department at the University of Pennsylvania are pleased to announce "Itinerant Belongings," an exhibition on display from November 1, 2014 to December 20, 2014. An opening reception will take place on the evening of Saturday, November 1st from 6:30-8:30pm (more information forthcoming).

The exhibition, organized by Charlotte Ickes and Iggy Cortez, examines how artists have engaged with ideas of homeland and belonging that fail to cohere to a unitary sense of time or place. Through film, photography and performance, the artists in this exhibition explore the contours of belonging across different contexts - from the invention of nationalist social rituals to the homecoming of veterans, from the trope of the "haunted" house to that of the family portrait. By bringing together the work of an international group of artists approaching home as a volatile concept, this exhibition examines how fantasies of belonging involve complex psychic and affective responses to specific material and historical conditions informed by race, gender, sexuality and class.

"Itinerant Belongings" grounds this inquiry by revisiting critical debates that bridged activism and art in the 1980s and 1990s. Responding to the presence of the homeless, the displaced, and the disenfranchised in American cities, two of the artists in the exhibition, William Pope.L and Krzysztof Wodiczko, produced projects in this critical moment that questioned the very notion of what it meant for a space to be "public." This exhibition aims to reanimate this dialogue and extend it to a contemporary global landscape marked by mass displacement, armed conflict, and debates around borders and immigration.

Work by Yael Bartana, Jamie Diamond, Andrew Moore, William Pope.L, Jessica Vaughn, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and Krzysztof Wodiczko will be on display at Slought and the Addams Gallery at PennDesign, and viewers are encouraged to take an itinerant path from one exhibition site to another.

Oct 14

T.J. Clark Lecture and Conversation

October 13, 2014 — "Test the West," T.J. Clark + Kaja Silverman in Conversation at Slought. 6:30-8:30pm. 

The evening will begin with a talk by Clark about consumerism and its image-world. Specifically, he will explore the implications of an image he once took in Berlin, Germany of a billboard advertising a brand of cigarette under the slogan "Test The West." His talk will be followed by further conversation with Kaja Silverman about art and capitalism after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the relation of visual depiction to what he has referred to elsewhere as the "sales-pitch-world."

The event has been organized with the Department of the History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania.

October 14, 2014 @ 5:00 PM  T.J. Clark will present "Joachim's Dream, or What Can Art History Say About Giotto?" as a part of the Jill and John Avery Lecture in the History of Art. College Hall, Room 200, University of Pennsylvania with reception to follow in the Jaffe History of Art Building. 

3:30 pm15:30

On Collecting: Kaja Silverman in Conversation with Keith and Kathy Sachs

@ 3405 Woodland Walk Jaffe History of Art Building Howard and Sharon Rich Seminar Room (Jaffe 113)

Please join Kaja Silverman in conversation with Keith and Katherine Sachs on Friday, September 26, 2014 at 3:30 PM. Titled "On Collecting," the conversation will be centered around collecting works of art as an intellectual activity. This conversation is a part of the University of Pennsylvania's History of Art Department 2104-2015 Colloquium Series and in anticipation of the Philadelphia Museum of Art's forthcoming (2016) exhibition of the Sachs Contemporary Art Collection.

Oct 24

Judith Barry: Cairo Stories

Slought is pleased to present ...Cairo stories, a video and photographic installation by Judith Barry, on display at Slought from September 15 to October 24, 2014. Please join us for an opening reception, as well as a conversation with the artist and Alexander Alberro (Columbia University), on Monday, September 15th, from 6:30pm-8:30pm.

...Cairo stories is based on more than 215 interviews conducted with women from many social and economic classes in Cairo between the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the beginning of the Egyptian Revolution in 2011. The selection of stories featured in the installation chronicles the personal experiences of these women across a variety of social and economic classes in Egypt, and expands the artist's concerns with notions of representation, history, subjectivity, and translation — particularly as these ideas circulate across cultures.

The emotional integrity of each woman's story is the crux of this project. The original interviews were conducted in simultaneous translation to maintain fluidity and integrity of tone and meaning. Barry considers these interviews to be collaborations between her and the subjects, insofar as the translators and interviewees were active participants in both the narrative arc of their stories and the development of the project as a whole. The interviews were also vetted by a diverse group of Cairene women where the social and political contexts of each story were considered. Fifteen stories were chosen that are representative of the specific cultural milieu of Cairo, a milieu that differentiates Cairo and Egypt from other countries in the Middle East.

Two of the stories are first-hand accounts from those moments just as the revolution began in Tahrir Square. Since the heady days of the events at Tahrir in January 2011, the voice – and the right to vote or ability to speak out – has become a central concern in everyday life in Egypt. The position of women in the public, political, and private spheres is also at the forefront of these discussions. One reason English-speaking Egyptian actors were cast is that none of the women Barry interviewed would appear on camera; yet, all very much wanted their stories to be told.

Since the 1970s, feminists such as Hélène Cixous have also written about the continued importance of self-historicization by women to 'transform their history, to seize the occasion to speak.' This philosophic position of écriture féminine directly addresses the transformation of subjectivity and the contention of sanctioned identity. It is through both writing and foregrounding the female voice that ...Cairo stories opens a space for embodying a new subjectivity.

Funded by the Fine Arts Department at the University of Pennsylvania, with the Spiegel Fund and Wilks Foundation; Penn Cinema Studies; Kaja Silverman/Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award; Lesley University College of Art and Design