Towards an Aesthetics of Stigmata: From Van Gogh's Paintings to Claire Denis's Films

Comparative Literature Luncheon Series
Feb 23, 2015
12:15 PM to 01:30 PM
102 Kern

Dr. Sabine Doran, Penn State

This talk explores an aesthetics of stigmata, as framed by Claire Denis’s recent films, The Intruder and Trouble Every Day, and in dialogue with Van Gogh’s painterly engagement with stigmatic inscriptions at the turn of the century. Van Gogh’s emphasis on the stigmatic role of yellow in his late work, expressed through forms of “kinetic aggressivity,” will be shown to parallel the transgressive nature of Denis’s films, transgressive in both the formal and the affective senses, as thematized, for example, in sacrificial rituals (the Christ-like figure of the son in L’Intrus). At stake in both Van Gogh’s and Denis’s work is an insistence on the corporeal within networks of forces. 

Sabine Doran is Associate Professor in the Department of German and Slavic Languages and Literatures. She is the author of The Culture of Yellow, or, The Visual Politics of Late Modernity (London: Bloomsbury, 2013) and is currently working on a book on synaesthesia.

This lecture is part of the Comparative Literature Luncheon Series.

Return to Top