This was my keynote at Through the Roadblocks a conference and exhibition organized in Cyprus by NeMe. As part of the show I exhibited a new artwork titled Reactions. Through the Roadblocks was a meta-project within which there were a variety of events and I curated Art, Culture, Memory and Trauma hosted by Prof. Janis Jefferies as part of the Thursday Club at Goldsmiths College in collaboration with Sabanci University, Kasa Gallery and LEA.
The final participation at the conference and exhibition in Cyprus was developed over two semesters and saw the participation of my MA student at Sabanci University, Caglar Cetin, who presented a paper titled Trauma as a Political Tool, Parodic Art as a Response: a Glimpse to Parody within “A Small Picture” in Cyprus and a new artwork produced for this project, A Small Picture. Both well received. (We wish to acknowledge the support for this project of Sabanci University and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.)
Currently I am planning to launch a special call for an edited book and create a research group of likeminded academics, artists and curators who would be interested in developing activities around Art, Culture, Memory and Trauma. I will launch the initial thematic proposal as part of OCR (Operational and Curatorial Research in Contemporary Art, Design, Science and Technology) – the new research center I am developing.
The abstract of the keynote is below, the full article will follow soon.
REACTIONS, INHERITANCE AND MEMORIES: GENETIC TRANSMISSION OF TRAUMA THROUGH BLOOD AND NEURONS?
The paper will question if the human body is the physical invisible monument for memorialization, trauma and cultural inheritance. The argument for a biological alteration of the human body due to cultural traumatic experiences and the possible genetic transmission of these experiences through chemical and biological alteration has been part of bio-cultural debates that from the field of zoology and ethology have increasingly moved in to the realm of human biology and cultural studies. F. T. Cloak Jr. in the introduction to the article Is a Cultural Ethology Possible? presents the genetic inheritance of culture as a possibility to be considered “in order to describe and explain human behaviors which are species-specific, panhuman, and presumably genetically controlled.”