Leonida Kovač: Rails and Libraries

L Kovac Predavanje KIC 26062023

“Rails and Libraries” is the third episode of the Art Pavilion program “Landscapes of Simultaneous Times: On Memory Practices in Contemporary Art,” in which the program’s author, art historian and theorist Leonida Kovač, focuses on exploring the complex relationships between the concepts of image, time, and memory in contemporary interdisciplinary artistic practices.

The third lecture delves into the notion of the trauma-induced silence, exploring the tangential approach to the Holocaust theme in W.G. Sebald’s final prose work, “Austerlitz” (2001). Using Freud’s term unheimlich, Leonida Kovač draws attention to the concept of a ghostly presence reverberating throughout Sebald’s work. In doing so, she contextualises the way in which Sebald incorporates three films by Alain Resnais into his textual fabric as “citations without citation marks,” aiming to articulate dialectical images or the concept of non-chronological time in which the past is inseparable from the present. The films in question are “Night and Fog” (1955), “Toute la mémoire du monde” (1956), and “Last Year at Marienbad” (1961).

Leonida Kovač is an art historian and theorist, curator, and full professor at the Academy of Fine Arts, University of Zagreb. Her focus of interest lies in contemporary art and critical and feminist theories. She has conceived and realised over forty exhibitions in Croatia and abroad, as well as several international professional and scientific conferences. She has served as commissioner and curator of national presentations at major international exhibitions, including the International Biennial of Visual Arts in São Paulo (2002) and the 50th Venice Biennale (2003). She has held positions in the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) based in Paris, where she was a member of the Board of Directors (1998-2002), Vice President (2002-2005), and again a member of the Board of Directors (2005-2007). In 2002, she received the annual award from the Croatian section of AICA for outstanding critical and curatorial work. She is a member of the International Council of the Katarzyna Kozyra Foundation. She has delivered a series of invited lectures at prestigious European universities and numerous public lectures in Croatian and international museum and gallery institutions.

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