Virginia Woolf’s Family Pictures: Transformations of Memory


Like many major modernist women, the British writer and intellectual Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) owned a vest-pocket Kodak. She was a prolific photographer, and conceived film and aesthetic theories aware that this new reproduction technology offered a new visual aesthetic.
Starting from the celebrated phrase that modernist women wrote a modernism of the margins, Professor Humm argues that an evaluation of the margins (like photo albums) is crucial to rethinking modernist aesthetics by recovering feminine meanings from hitherto invisible "art". There are over one thousand uncatalogued 'home photographs' taken by Virginia Woolf and her husband Leonard. Many of them were mounted in photo albums. According to Maggie Humm, the album's unusual visual sequences represent Woolf’s identification with her "fantasmatic" mother.
In her illustrated lecture, focused on psychoanalytic theories of representation, Professor Humm will relate Virginia's photographs to other albums known by her (such as those of her father, of her sister Vanessa Bell and of her great aunt – the famous Victorian photographer -- Julia Margaret Cameron), briefly review Woolf’s ideas about photography in her diaries and letters, and discuss Woolf's theories of cinema and modernist aesthetics.

In cooperation with  Cankarjev dom
With the support of The British Council, Slovenia

Date and time of event: 
Oct 09th 17:00
Place of event: 
Cankarjev dom