Past Events

PMC Postdoc Lecture: Masculinity and Apocalypticism in Contemporary British Art

ECRN Events – Edwin Coomasaru

  • 27 January 2022
  • 6:30 – 7:30 pm
  • Online

This is an event for ECRN members only. You can find out more about the network here.

As the second speaker in our Postdoctoral Fellowship Lecture Series, Edwin Coomasaru will present on his research project ‘Masculinity and Apocalypticism in Contemporary British Art’, funded by a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the PMC.

What is the relationship between masculinity and apocalypticism in contemporary British art? This lecture will consider links between gender, sexuality, race, and ecology in Derek Jarman’s film The Last of England (1987), Imran Perretta’s video the destructors (2019), and Heather Phillipson’s installation RUPTURE NO 1: blowtorching the bitten peach (2021). Armageddon as a cultural idea has long contained a series of conceptual contradictions: beginnings and endings, revelation and annihilation. Eschatological imagery has been contested by artists and politicians calling for a new world or a male saviour figure. Jarman, Perretta, and Phillipson reveal the role of collective violence in visions of national crisis.

Listing image: Still from Imran Perretta, the destructors, 2019. Courtesy of the Artist.

About the speaker

  • Head and shoulders portrait in white shirt in front of sea

    Dr Edwin Coomasaru is a historian of modern and contemporary British, Irish, and Sri Lankan art; his research considers the politics of gender, sexuality, and race. Coomasaru is an editor of the journal Visual Culture in Britain. He has been awarded Postdoctoral Fellowships at the University of Edinburgh, The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, and The Courtauld Institute of Art (where he earned his PhD and co-convened the Gender & Sexuality Research Group). He previously worked as a Research Assistant on the Association of Art History’s anti-racist and decolonial resource portal. Formerly a Contributing Editor at British Art Studies, Coomasaru has also co-edited a book on Imagining the Apocalypse: Art and the End Times (Courtauld Books Online, 2022). He has written articles and book reviews for peer-review journals (Art HistoryThird TextThe Irish ReviewIrish Studies ReviewOxford Art Journal), alongside exhibition essays for museums and galleries (Barbican Centre, Autograph, Jhaveri Contemporary, Saskia Fernando Gallery, Belfast Exposed, Townhall Cavan).