Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Free talk at the NGV - UPDATED

UPDATE - Apologies apologies! I forgot to put the date down for the talk. It is this Friday, June 5th at 11am, meet at 10:50am.

A little heads up about a floor talk at the National Gallery of Victoria (International). These talks are great, usually they introduce just one painting in the collection and give a history of it and talk through the visual aspects of the particular image. The talk talk is a bit more general and addresses the relationship between person and picture, always an interesting area to delve into, details below.

The talks are organised by the Fine Arts Network (FAN), and independent organisation that promotes the study of the visual arts in Victoria. Attendance is free and open to all, though FAN encourages you to join up to recieve details of other events and to receive the Melbourne Art Journal.

The ‘Quality of Relationship’ between person and picture

John Armstrong
Philosopher in Residence, Melbourne Business School

Bernardo Bellotto, Ruins of the Forum, Rome, c. 1743. Image from the NGV website.

One of the most elusive—but most important—topics in the study of art is that of the relationship between the beholder and the image. Think of how we speak of our relationships to pictures: liking, loving, knowing about, hating, being excited, being bored, being puzzled. These are not just about the object, they are also about how we experience it. I’m going to talk about ‘the quality of relationship’ between a person and a picture—what makes for a good relationship.

This might seem like an unconventional topic. Mostly we talk about the works—and try to find out more about them. But surely that’s all in the service of individual relationships to individual pictures. But the leading edge in intellectual thinking is now paying much more attention to issues of evaluation: what is it to like a picture, to need it in your imagination? Why is it a good object? And this is of deep importance in cultural transmission. Culture isn’t only a matter of knowledge: it’s also to do with liking, loving and caring.

I want to explore how this picture, painted over 250 years ago continues to live, not just as a memento of another time and place, but as a living force in the present.

Meet at the Information Desk, NGV International, at 10.50 am.
Free event, all welcome, but RSVP to: sgillberg@bigpond.com


  1. Hi Katya,
    The talk sounsd great, I'd love to go...but can't find any details re the date? The FAN website hasn't been updated either. Would you mind posting the date?

    Many thanks!

  2. My apologies Anthea, thanks for pointing that out! The talk is this Friday (June 5th) at 11am, meet at 10:50am.



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