Prof Shep Steiner has a new article in the journal Asian Diasporic Visual Culture and the Americas, titled “Mirror on the Wall: Photography, Logos, and the Problem of Writing in Ken Lum.”
This article focuses on the work of Vancouver artist Ken Lum. It argues that the motif of voice, the question of identity, and the problem of writing that surfaces in Lum’s work should be understood as integral to the early reception of Deconstruction in Canada. Through close readings of Lum’s work the author reconstructs the importance of logos, a question that is situated in turn as part of a generational dialogue Lum had with key figures of the so-called Vancouver School of photoconceptualism. With special emphasis on the Portrait-Logos, the Portrait-Repeated Texts, and the Photo-Mirrors, the article isolates Lum’s politics of voice and shows the ways in which his recurrent motifs of class, labour, micro-trauma, and mirroring exist in an uneasy relationship with the Vancouver School. Finally, the article dissects the consistent relationship between image and text that Lum’s work explores.
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