frank davis memorial lecture series



Histories in Transition

Landscape & Language: from Conceptualism to Ecoaesthetics

Monday, 8 October 2012

12.00 - 14.00, Research Forum South Room

the word NATURE as a large sculpture in a suburban street
NATURE, intervention and photo by Sean Martindale, 2009. (image courtesy the artist)

Speaker(s): Professor Mark Cheetham (University of Toronto)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Dr Ayla Lepine


"A word is worth 1,000th of an image." Iain Baxter&



Professor Mark Cheetham’s seminar will examine important recent imbrications of the textual and visual in the genre of Western landscape by focusing on conceptual art's double relationships with language and landscape in the practices of the group Art & Language. He will also discuss the ecological, ethical, and aesthetic dimensions of contemporary art's responses to 'nature' with reference to Rasheed Araeen's recent manifesto on this topic.

Reading list for seminar attendees:

  • Rasheed Araeen, (2009) 'Ecoaesthetics: A Manifesto for the Twenty-First Century', Third Text, 23: 5, 679- 684
  • Charles Harrison, (1995) 'Art & Language Paints a Landscape’, Critical Inquiry, Vol. 21, No. 3 (Spring, 1995), 611-639


Mark A. Cheetham is the author and editor of a dozen books on art theory, art, and visual culture from c. 1700 to the present and is active as a curator of contemporary art. His book, Artwriting, Nation, and Cosmopolitanism in Britain: The “Englishness” of English Art Theory was published in 2012. Cheetham teaches art history at the University of Toronto.

This seminar is part of the 2012 Frank Davis Memorial Lecture Series which explores intersections between modernity and historicism worldwide. It extends and enriches the Research Forum project Revival: Utopia, Identity, Memory and interacts with the provocative Research Forum theme, ‘The Quick and the Dead’. Spanning art, architecture and design across America, Europe and Asia from the nineteenth century to the present, each lecture demonstrates the allure and the value of the past in forming challenging responses to new circumstances. Interrogating the nature of revival, historicism and transnationalism, the series engages with nature and artifice, ritual and memory, and the flexible meanings of materials, images and structures that simultaneously inhabit traditional and innovative territory.

Sponsored by the FM Kirby Foundation and The Prince's Foundation

Traditionally sponsored by the F M Kirby Foundation, this year the Frank Davis Memorial Lecture Series is also sponsored by The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community; Transforming Lives through Engaging, Educating and Empowering People.

“The Prince's Foundation believes that sustainably planned, built and maintained communities improve the quality of life of everyone who’s part of them. They help us both live better at a local level and start dealing with the broader global challenges of urbanisation and climate change. Our goal is a future where all of us can take part in making our communities more sustainable. We're working with everyone from local residents groups to governments to make it happen.” See www.princes-foundation.org

Prince's Foundation logo



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