19 Oct

I have been invited by the SAIT (Société Intertextes – Textes et Signes) and the SEAC (Société d’Etudes Anglaises Contemporaines) to present my video The Renovation as part of the Ruins in Twentieth-Century British Art and Fiction Conference, November 4th and 5th 2011.  The event is hosted by the Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, Senate House.

Description of conference

As opposed to the Gothic labyrinths of vaults and broken palaces or shattered abbeys, in the nineteenth century the picturesque legacy grew into a passion for sublime ruins as crystals of time, suffused with melancholy pleasure. From Romantic hubris (and the fascination for Troy or Pompeii) to Turner’s luminous visions or Hardy’s carved windows and stone coffins, ruins offered dwindling points of aesthetic stability as well as symptoms of mutability in a changing world stamped by Darwinian ruthlessness.

This conference proposes to analyze the hybrid function of ruins as they shift from sublime metonymies to broken hints of shattered times and troubled consciousness, focusing not only on the visual motif of ruins but on the function of citation as an attempt to include the ruined pieces of bygone art and cultural systems, whether the purpose be to “shore fragments” against ruin, as in the case of Modernism, or to challenge and deconstruct present exhaustion and past master discourses, as in the case of post-modernism. The postmodern emphasis on remains, from Ackroyd to Ishiguro or Stoppard, on textual experimentation with broken fragments, the function of architecture and visual motifs will be of interest, showing that twentieth-century British art and fiction revisit ruins not only as the broken pieces of a vanished past, but as artificial to begin with. Emphasis on architecture will necessarily include cultural context, and moments of acute fragmentation such as the Blitz, the British equivalent of the Twin Towers, faultlines leaving not only the smell of smouldering remains, but a division between before and after, an intense sense of the collapse of ideologies and promises. The ultimate negotiation of the bankruptcy of meaning may lead to repetition and elegy or parody, or to the intense attempt to create an ephemeral art retaining the traces of a glorious past but displacing them, leading to brief presences and vanishing points, as residue becomes resistance and art articulates waste.


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About Valerie LeBlanc

Originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, pluri-­disciplinary artist and writer Valerie LeBlanc has worked in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Australia. Her creations travel between poetry, performance, visual and written theory. Valerie LeBlanc has been creating video poetry since the mid 1980’s, and is the creator of the MediaPackBoard (MPB), portable screening / performance device.

L’artiste pluridisciplinaire Valerie LeBlanc est vidéaste, poète, performeuse et essayiste. Son travail oscille entre le remarquable et le quotidien. Elle a exposé ses œuvres en Europe, en Australie et au Brésil. Elle crée des vidéopoèmes depuis le milieu des années 1980 et a inventé le MediaPackBoard (MPB), un appareil de projection mobile pour la performance.

Date : April 2020
Genre : Vidéopoésie/Videopoetry

Videopoetry / Vidéopoésie

Small Walker Press

Date : January 2021
Genre : Poetry