Past Events

Uncertain Grounds and Absent Figures in Tina’s Keane’s Faded Wallpaper (1988)

Research Lunch – Evelyn Whorrall-Campbell

  • 29 May 2020
  • 12:00 – 1:00 pm
  • This talk will be given online via a Zoom webinar

Talk description:

For three days in 1987, Tate’s newly opened Clore Gallery was host to the British artist Tina Keane’s Faded Wallpaper, a multi-media piece which combined live performance with film footage and recorded audio. In 1988, Keane produced a twenty-minute film of the same name from these prior performative iterations, which became the lasting exhibited version of the work. Loosely based on Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story The Yellow Wallpaper (1892), Faded Wallpaper traced a woman’s descent into madness to loosen the structures of epistemological stability and the subject itself.

This paper will argue that Faded Wallpaper serves as a productive site through which to approach the various pressures and absences that arise within feminist theory’s attempt to think its own feminist subject. Against the ground of a politics of representation that arose in 1980s visual theory and cultural criticism more broadly, this paper will argue that Faded Wallpaper deals with the limits of the visual, trading in an absent and unrepresentable subject to explore the conditions by which one might come into sight. 

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About the speaker

  • Black and white head and shoulders photo of Evelyn Whorrall-Campbell

    Evelyn Whorrall-Campbell is a PhD student in the Centre for Film and Screen Studies at the University of Cambridge. She is the recipient of an Honorary Vice Chancellor’s Award and an AHRC OOC DTP Studentship. Evelyn’s thesis is concerned with tracing alternative (re)productive genealogies through the work of feminist and/or queer video artists from the 1980s to the present. Her writing has also appeared in various publications, including FDBNFictions, Another Gaze, and OREAD [forthcoming].