Clark Conference on April 27 and 28 Draws Together Art Experts to Discuss Research in the Field of Visual Arts

For Immediate Release

April 10, 2007

What is research, why and how do we do it, and what place does it have in art making and the understanding of art today? This year’s Clark Conference, “What Is Research in the Visual Arts?: Obsession, Archive, Encounter,” explores fundamental questions, both philosophical and practical, for those working with visual art. This event on Friday and Saturday, April 27 and 28, from 9 am to 5 pm both days, will bring together scholars, academics, curators, and practitioners. Members of the public are welcome. Tickets are $25 ($15 for students and members, free for Williams students and faculty). Registration includes two receptions, one at the Clark and one at the Williams College Museum of Art. For more information and to register, call 413-458-0524 or visit

The conference is convened by Michael Ann Holly, the Clark’s Director of Research and Academic Program, and Marquand Smith, editor of Visual Culture, London. Speakers, their affiliations, and their lecture topics include:

· Alex Nemerov, Yale University, The Turn of the Screw and Art Histo

· Serge Guilbault, University of British Columbia, Factory of Facts: Research As Obsession with the Scent of History

· Marc Gotlieb, University of Toronto, Our Monstrous Double

· Alex Potts, University of Michigan, The Art Work, the Archive, and the Living Moment

· Helen Molesworth, Harvard University, Some Thoughts on Zoe Leonard's Analogu

· Celeste Olalquiaga, Independent scholar, The Researcher as Collector

· Joanne Morra, University of the Arts, London, Remembering, Repeating, and Working—through Research

· Michael Ann Holly, The Clark, What is Research in Art History Anyway

· W. J. T. Mitchell, University of Chicago, Image and Archive: The Case of Abu Ghraib

· Sina Najafi, Cabinet magazine, Toward a Culture of Curiosity?

· Chrissie Iles, Whitney Museum of American Art, Order! Taxonomy and Anxiety

· Akira Lippit, University of Southern California, The World Archive and Universal Research

The speakers will consider the pleasures, passions, and dangers of research and its attendant obsessions and encounters with incoherence, chaos, and wonder. The discussion will include how the process of inquiry engenders meaning; the complex ways research is bound up with writing, teaching, curating, and making; and why we are obsessed with the idea of research.

The entire conference proceedings will be published as part of the Clark Studies in the Visual Arts series, a partnership between the Clark and Yale University Press.

The Clark
Set amidst 140 acres in the Berkshire hills of western Massachusetts, the Clark is an art museum and a center for research and higher education, dedicated to advancing and extending the public understanding of art. To further its dual mission, the Clark organizes groundbreaking special exhibitions that advance scholarship while building public appreciation of art.

The Clark's Research and Academic Program include an international fellowship program and regular conferences, symposia, and colloquia, drawing together arts leadership from around the world. The Clark encompasses one of the most comprehensive art history libraries in the world and, together with Williams College, sponsors one of the nation's leading master's programs in art history.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm (daily in July and August). Admission is free November through May. Admission June 1 through October 31 is $12.50 for adults, free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit


Return to the previous page