Ansatte ved Institut for Kunst- og Kulturvidenskab – Københavns Universitet

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David Winfield Norman

David Winfield Norman

Ph.d. stipendiat

Broadly, my dissertation will analyze the development of performance and performative art practices in Greenland since around 1970. I argue performance emerged as a guiding principle among diverse artists - working between the genres and institutions of land art, video, photography, theater, performance art, installation, printmaking and sculpture - who sought methods for bridging subject and object, citation and action, autonomy and collectivity, within a lived politics of resistance. I argue these artworks challenge both the artist-centered focus on subjectivity that has long dominated the historiography of art history as well as the object-centered search for a new material alterity, a search that itself occults the abstract and immaterial conditions of exchange that surround artworks’ production and reception. In my PhD project, I qualify the project of new materialism with a return to Marxist historical materialism in order to balance the desire to account for the role of the object and the abstract and immaterial sociality it intervenes in, initiates and indexes. I argue that by challenging the dominant social, material and geopolitical framing of art in Greenland, these artists manifest forms of self-determination, self-criticism, and the desire to transform Greenlandic society on their own terms through developing a renewed sense of historical consciousness.


Research, teaching and supervision areas:

-Modern and contemporary art in Greenland, the circumpolar world and Indigenous North America

-Postcolonial theory and decolonization

-Time-based and site-specific art

-Performance theory, performativity, the history of performance art

-Media theory, history of photography 

-Philosophy of history

-Historiography of art history

-Phenomenology, art and the senses

-Turning looks

-Stunting pretty

-Queer theory, gender performativity, gender non-conformity, drag and visual culture

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