What is it to “witness” and how do Francis Alys’ videos of children’s games in relation to war help us formulate a response to this question?
Join us for a talk by the Australian anthropologist and professor Michael Taussig, in conjunction with the exhibition by Francis Alÿs.
Free, upon registration
Susan Sontag famously wrote in the early 1970s that “”concerned” photography has done at least as much to deaden conscience as arouse it.” But after her experience with war in Sarajevo her position changed and she emphasized the need to give witness.
Yet what is it to “witness” and how do Francis Alys’ videos of kid’s games in relation to war help us formulate a response to this question?
Michael Taussig (b. 1940) is an anthropologist known for his provocative ethnographic studies and unconventional style as an academic. He was born in Australia in 1940 and later studied medicine at the University of Sydney. He earned a PhD in anthropology at the London School of Economics. He is currently a professor of anthropology at Columbia University in New York and at The European Graduate School / EGS in Switzerland. In spite of his numerous publications in his field, especially in medical anthropology, he is most acclaimed for his commentaries on Karl Marx and Walter Benjamin, especially in relation to the idea of commodity fetishism.