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Susan Best: Reparative Aesthetics, Witnessing in Contemporary Art Photography

PanOptic Press | Little Tokyo Two | Happy Boy | SoFA, Sunday, 1 November 2015 from 12:00 midday to 3:30 PM (AEST), 36 Mein Street, Spring Hill, Brisbane, QLD.

Introduced by Angela Goddard, Susan Best is an art historian with expertise in critical theory and modern and contemporary art. Her book, Visualizing Feeling: Affect and the Feminine Avant-garde (London: I.B. Tauris, 2011) focuses on four women artists of the 1960s and 70s: Eva Hesse, Lygia Clark, Ana Mendieta and Theresa Hak Kyung Cha. It shows how their work transforms the avant-garde protocols of the period by introducing an affective dimension to late modern art. The project was funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery grant. In 2012, the book won the best book prize awarded by the Art Association of Australia and New Zealand. In 2013, it was short-listed for the American College Art Association Frank Jewett Mather award for art criticism.

She is currently completing a book titled Reparative Aesthetics: Witnessing in Contemporary Art Photography

(contracted by Bloomsbury Philosophy). This book offers a new way of thinking about the role of politically engaged art. It examines the work of five women photographers from the southern hemisphere who are pioneering a reparative approach to art about shameful histories.

In 2012, she curated an exhibition at the University of Sydney Art Museum, Vibration, Vibraçao, Vibración that examined the South American art of the 1960s and 70s in the Power Collection. In 2015  she is curating an exhibition of the work of Fiona Pardington and Rosângela Rennó for the University of Sydney Art Gallery. She is a member of the curatorium for Joan Brassil’s retrospective at Campbelltown Centre for the Arts and has recently been elected to the Australian Academy of the Humanities.


Panoptic Press in association with SoFA, LT2, Happy Boy and Reach Media would like to extend our appreciation toward the following Brisbane based galleries and art organisations who all encouragingly provided a selection of books, catalogues, bookmarks and business cards for inclusion in our personalised gift bags that were presented on the night, including:

The University of Queensland Art Museum: James and Mary Emelia Mayne Centre (Building 11), University Drive , The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Q 4067.

Heiser Gallery: 90 Arthur Street Fortitude Valley Brisbane Q 4006.

Spiro | Grace Art Rooms: 255 Gregory Terrace (Cnr. Union Street and Gregory Terrace), entrance via Union Street, Spring Hill, Brisbane, Q 4000.

Milani Gallery: 54 Logan Road, Woolloongabba, Brisbane, Q 4102.

Edwina Corlette: 2/555 Brunswick Street, New Farm, Brisbane, Q 4005.

The Institute of Modern Art: Ground Floor, Judith Wright Centre 420 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, Q 4006.

QUT Art Museum: 2 George Street, Brisbane, Q 4000.

Header Image: Professor Susan Best, Reparative Aesthetics, FASST II, 1 November, 2015.