This lecture will consider the relationship between images and memory in the context of diaspora. In particular, it will address the meaning of (filmic) images for remembering the genocide and thereby consolidating the Armenian (Western) diaspora. Because there are few graphic images of this violent history and because those that do exist are not circulated in the public visual sphere, this lecture will look at various filmic strategies that not only compensate this lack of representation, but also more profoundly interrogate the very status of images for diasporic communities in today’s visual culture. Some contemporary filmmakers and visual artists—such as Atom Egoyan, Gariné Torossian, and Mekhitar Garabedian—challenge at once the aesthetic qualities of images and their crucial role in constructing memory. Baronian will reflect upon the “aesthetics of displacement” that characterize their visual enterprise as an obsessive, repetitive yet lacunary necessity for connecting the past in a tangible here and now.
Marie-Aude Baronian is the 2014 Manoogian Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan and an associate professor in film and visual culture at the University of Amsterdam. Her research focuses on various topics such as Armenian diasporic visual culture, ethics and aesthetics, French thought, archive, and memory. She has specifically worked on the representation of the Armenian genocide in the works of contemporary visual artists such as Atom Egoyan, Gariné Torossian and Mekhitar Garabedian. Her most recent books are Mémoire et Image. Regards sur la Catastrophe arménienne (2013) and Cinéma et Mémoire. Sur Atom Egoyan (2013). She currently works on fashion and costume in philosophy and film.
Sponsors: ASP, Department of Screen Arts & Cultures, Program in International & Comparative Studies