Saturday, 20 November 2010, 3.00pm, Room 416, Malet Street, Birkbeck, London  WC1E 7HX

In Recursos Humanos and Efectos colaterales, Gabriela Liffschitz  (1963-2004) composes a series of verbal and visual self-portraits that show the body of a woman who has breast cancer. By mobilizing genres organized around the writing of the Self, her work not only defines genre as performance but also presents beauty, ugliness, illness, and health as examples of performativity. Emerged in an age of relative destruction of aesthetic autonomy, Liffschitz’s images do not replicate codes of good or bad photography, nor the discourse on cancer, not even the photographed object. They are diasporic images: neither reality nor fiction, and at the same time, both fiction and reality. They challenge us by suggesting that we never are or even have a body but we earn or lose it, we surrender it to pleasure or desire.

Paola Cortes-Rocca (San Francisco State University) has published essays on citizenship and monstrosity, sickness and femininity, ghosts and political imagination, zombies and racial conflicts as well as on the photographic work of Andrés Serrano, Alejandro Kuropatwa, Marcelo Brodsky, and Eduardo Gil, among others. She is the coauthor of Eva Perón cuerpo y política, the co-editor of Políticas del sentimiento. El peronismo y la construcción de la Argentina moderna, and the author of El tiempo de la máquina. Retratos, paisajes y otras imágenes de la nación (Colihue, forthcoming). She studied photography with Eduardo Gil and Emmet Gowwin. Along with Sebastián Freire, she presented a series of portraits in an exhibition titled ¿Qué es un autor? (Buenos Aires 2009 and Rio de Janeiro 2010).