Dr Maria Walsh

Reader in Artists’ Moving Image

Chelsea College of Arts

Biography

Maria Walsh is a writer and art critic. She is Reader in Artists' Moving Image at Chelsea College of Arts and co-convenes the Subjectivity and Feminisms research group there. Outtakes from her doctoral work on Tacita Dean, Chantal Akerman and phenomenological nomadic subjectivity have been published in peer-reviewed journals including Screen, Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, and Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge. Book chapters on artists’ film are included in Screen/Space: The Projected Image in Contemporary Art (2011) and Women Artists, Feminism and the Moving Image (forthcoming 2018). Her art criticism, including features, artists’ interviews and reviews, appears regularly in Art Monthly. Her book Art and Psychoanalysis was published by I.B Tauris in 2012 and she is currently working on a monograph provisionally entitled Performative Therapeutics in Contemporary Artists’ Moving Image which investigates the 'screen' as a critical site of therapeutic encounter in the context of neoliberal concepts of selfhood.

Walsh has also edited books and journals, co-editing with Dr Mo Throp the anthology Twenty Years of MAKE: Back to the Future of Women’s Art (2015). She is Reviews Editor of MIRAJ: Moving Image Review and Art Journal and guest edited the journal’s double issue special on ‘Feminisms’ in 2015.

Research interests

Artists’ Moving Image practices, film philosophy and theory, subjectivity and the body especially in relation to post-Deleuzian feminist philosophy, and media ecologies. 

Research statement

My research explores spectatorship in relation to Artists’ Moving Image practices. I am interested in how new subjectivities might be generated in art/film works through techno-narratological reconfigurations of bodies and psyches. This research is interdisciplinary, incorporating theories of performativity and continental philosophy, especially feminist re-workings of phenomenology and Deleuzian materialism, affect theory, film theory and theories of political ecology.

My current monograph-in-progress ‘Performative Therapeutics in Contemporary Artists‘ Moving Image’ is inspired by contemporary French philosopher Bernard Stiegler’s notion that we need a psychoanalytic therapeutics of technology in the context of cognitive capitalism. I am currently testing this research by giving symposia papers and a preliminary version of one chapter was published in 2017 in the peer-reviewed online journal NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies.

I have also collaborated with a colleague, Dr Mo Throp, to curate a series of exhibitions on female subjectivity in art practice. In 2015, we curated the exhibition ‘CAN DO: Photographs and other material from the Women’s Art Library Magazine Archive’ at CHELSEA Space, which was an extension of our edited anthology Twenty Years of MAKE: Back to the future of women’s art. Our pedagogic concerns in this project were summarised by curator George Vasey in his review of our anthology:

"Bringing together interviews, profiles and essays from the archive, the authors have done a fine job in stitching together the polyvocal concerns of the era [...] history is only valuable if it is useful to the current generation and this book offers a good place for them to start" (George Vasey, Art Monthly, no. 395, April 2016, p.34).

We also co-curate the ongoing project, ‘The Subjectivity & Feminisms Performance Dinners’, a series of dinner events that involve staff, students, and invited artists in collective feminist research exploring the mutual embeddedness of theory and practice via performative responses to key feminist texts.

Students

Current students and thesis titles

Stephanie SpindlerA Phenomenological Identity: the State of Being a Woman.

Denise AckerlStrategies of resistance in female performance practice and activism in the context of cognitive capitalism and new social media.

Completed students and thesis titles

Catherine MaffiolettiCan the object ever truly reflect the body without merely being a representation, or producing a lack of body/self? Does the object only exist in the absence of the body/self? Or, can it speak the body/self via a different mirror?

Imogen ReidCinematic Writing: Thinking Between the Viewer and the Screen.

Kristiina KoskentolaInterconnected In-Between: On the Dynamics of Abjections, Animism, Temporality and Location in Art Practice.

Deniz AkchaMapping Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue: Uncovering the traces of female ethnicity in Turkish film, architecture and sound through fine art practice.

Selected research outputs