The second in the series of Causeries explores the satirical impulse in visual culture from the 18th century to present times. Different expressions of pictorial satire are discussed in several informal conversations, also highlighting the satire that lies at the heart of Alexandre Singh’s The Humans. With an emphasis on both the British and French tradition, the work of pictorial satirists like William Hogarth and Honoré Daumier will be pivotal to this causerie, alongside with more contemporary forms of satire such as the television show South Park.

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Participants include:

5 pm: Martin Myrone – on William Hogarth

Martin Myrone is Lead Curator, Pre-1800 British Art at Tate Britain. He has published widely on eighteenth and nineteenth century British art, including Bodybuilding: Reforming Masculinities in British 1750-1810 (Yale University Press, 2005) and monographs on Stubbs, Fuseli and Blake. He was the curator of Rude Britannia: British Comic Art (Tate Britain, 2010) and John Martin: Apocalypse (Tate Britain, 2011).

6.30pm: Pascal Dupuy – on Honoré Daumier

Pascal Dupuy is a Professor in early modern history at the University of Rouen. He was an Andrew Mellon Fellow at The Paul Mellon Center (Yale University, 1995-96). His research focuses on images and cartoons from the 18th century onward. He is the author of numerous books and is currently writing a new study on the French Revolution. He has also contributed to several periodicals on the relation between film, images and history.

7.30 pm: Brian Dunphy – on South Park

Brian Dunphy is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts (Dramatic Writing), the University of Amsterdam (American Studies), and The New School for Social Research (Politics). A native New Yorker who has been lecturing in the City University of New York system for over 8 years and at Brooklyn College (CUNY) for over 5 years as a lecturer in the Department of Television and Radio. Over the past few years, Dunphy has developed a reputation for pushing the academic envelope with classes revolving around Satire & Mass Media and Politics & Mass Media. He also created, and taught, the controversial course, ‘South Park and Political Correctness’

Upcoming Causeries:
16 August 2012 – Theatrical Costumes;
13 September 2012 – Aristophanes;
11 October 2012 – The Mountain in Art and Literature;
15 November 2012 – Literary Satire: on Pope, Lucian, and Wodehouse;
19 January 2013 – The Voice and The Chorus;
16 February 2013 – Woody Allen;
16 March 2013 – Scatology;
13 April 2013 – The Sculptor.

Recently
The Creation: On Cosmogony and Cosmology
Saturday 2 June 2012

Participants: Jessica Frazier (Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Kent), Andrew Jaffe (Professor Astrophysics at the Imperial College London), Bernadette Leclercq-Neveu (Professor in the Classics Department at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris), Bénédicte Lemmelijn (Professor Theology, Catholic University of Leuven), Alexander Verpoorte (Professor in the Faculty of Archeology at the University of Leiden), Francis Wolff (Professor in Philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris)

About the Causeries

Taking its title from the French verb causer – to converse or chat – the Causeries are set up as a series of discussions in which Alexandre Singh expands on his ambitious play The Humans’ key themes, ranging from cosmology and cosmogony to pictorial satire, dance, drama, and religion. Rather than discursive events in the well-known format of a conference or a symposium, the Causeries are conceived as informal conversations between the artist and an expert in a given field. It is not only the edification of the artist himself that is pivotal in this alternative kind of exchange, also the audience is offered an insight in the underlying themes of The Humans. The monthly Causeries are conceived by Defne Ayas and Alexandre Singh, and are organized in consultation with critic and writer Donatien Grau.

About The Humans

The Humans – with “creation” as its central theme – is an ambitious play that will evolve and change over a six-month period. Set before the creation of the Earth in a proto-world populated by spirits, gods, artisans and men of clay and plaster, The Humans is modeled after the ancient Greek plays of Aristophanes. Whilst the theatrical references are ancient, the satire is utterly modern: religion, morality and human hubris are all mocked with an irreverent and biting tone.

Leading up to the final live presentation of his play, Singh will transform Witte de With’s second floor into a space; part artist’s studio, part script-room and display area; where visitors will be able to follow the development of the play. This on-site realization of the artwork allows the audience to gain a unique insight into the inner dynamics of artistic creation.