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Dr Maria Walsh

Reader - Research
Chelsea College of Arts
Researcher Research
Maria  Walsh


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.

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.

Research Outputs


Book Section

Conference, Symposium or Workshop item




Current research students

  • Denise Ackerl, Strategies of resistance in female performance practice and activism in the context of cognitive capitalism and new social media. (Lead supervisor)
  • Jennifer Allen, Interrogating the post-human subject and visibility of the black female, at, beneath, beyond, and in dialogue with the surface level of the culturally appropriate image (Joint supervisor)
  • Remi Allen, "Identities in Translation: Is it Mother or MAMA that constructs and reconstructs the British-Asian identity?" (Joint supervisor)
  • Sarah-Jane Dougal, A Phenomenological Approach to Artists’ Performance-to Camera and Video: Video as an Intimate and Embodied Mode of Perception and Expression (Advisor)
  • Kristiina Koskentola, Interconnected In-Between: On the Dynamics of Abjections, Animism, Temporality and Location in Art Practice. (Lead supervisor)
  • Catherine Maffioletti, Can 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? (Lead supervisor)
  • Imogen Reid, Cinematic Writing: Thinking Between the Viewer and the Screen. (Lead supervisor)
  • Stephanie Spindler, A Phenomenological Identity: the State of Being a Woman. (Lead supervisor)
  • Tamara Tyrer, Of Space and Time: Film and the Female Performer (Joint supervisor)

Past research students

  • Deniz Akca, Mapping Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue: Uncovering the traces of female ethnicity in Turkish film, architecture and sound through fine art practice (Lead supervisor)
  • Timothy Smith, ‘Haptic Aurality and the Queering of Memory: Subversive Methods in Audiovisual Practice’ (Joint supervisor)


Fine art