Ken Lum / Hubert Damisch
Ken Lum is a Canadian artist, whose origins as the grandson of an immigrant laborer from southern China, have profoundly marked his practice. Focusing on issues of identity and representation, Lum has developed a technique of portraiture that ranges from photographic images (much of them staged), to linguistically based signage, to monuments and civic sculptures that capture diversity and demographic detail. His excavation of the foibles of youth, class difference, sub-cultures, political correctness, and many more topics mark him as a contemporary William Hogarth. An associate of the artists known as the "Vancouver School," (including Rodney Graham, Jeff Wall, and Ian Wallace, among others), Lum has transformed his wide-ranging portraiture approach to include public art as well. Particularly noteworthy have been projects situated in the heart of Vienna and detailing the habits of citizens of the capital, a monument to the indigenous original citizens and colonizers of Vancouver perched on its main museum, and dozens of other commissions that weld complex social and political content with a profound visual language, often minimal in form, but always legible and comprehensible to ordinary citizens.
Hubert Damisch is a French philosopher whose analysis of images has spanned from art, to architecture, to film, and the museum itself. Trained in Paris, under Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Pierre Francastel, Damisch's practice is known for its skillful blend of historic detail with a sensitivity of perception rendering the philosophical as a poetic act. Contributions to the field have included classics on cinema, and architecture, and wide-ranging historical speculations such as Theorie de la peinture: pour une histoire de la peinture (1972) and Theorie du nuage (1972). At the Ecole des Hautes Etudes in Paris, Damisch founded the Center for History and Theory of Art (CEHTA). He has spent much of his academic career holding prestigious guest professorships at institutions spanning from Columbia University, New York City and the Getty Research Institute, Malibu, to the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, Washington, D.C.
Ken Lum, born 1956, Vancouver, Canada
Lives and works in Vancouver, Canada
Hubert Damisch, born 1928, Paris, France
Lives and works in Paris, France
Ken Lum is on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Design, after many years teaching at the University of British Columbia, as well as in French, German, and Dutch (among other) art academies. He has received numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship (1999). Lum has also worked curatorially, notably in exhibitions mapping the political and artistic situation in China (2005) and Africa (2001), as well as the Middle East, as co-curator of the Sharjah Biennial (2005). A retrospective of his practice originated in 2011 at the Vancouver Art Gallery. The artist has appeared in multiple Biennales around the world, as well as Documenta (2002).
Hubert Damisch's chief works include:
The Origin of Perspective, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1994.
The Judgement of Paris, Chicago: University of Chicago Press,1996.
Skyline :The Narcissic City, Los Angeles: Stanford University Press, 2000.
A Childhood Memory by Piero della Francesca, Los Angeles: Stanford University Press, 2001.
A Theory of "Cloud" : toward a History of Painting, Los Angeles: Stanford University Press, 2002.