S Kromholz: And then there was nothing left

01nov11:4512:15S Kromholz: And then there was nothing left11:45 - 12:15(GMT+00:00) View in my timeEvent typePresentationTopicPhotographic processSession ID: Session 2A


(Monday) 11:45 - 12:15(GMT+00:00) View in my time

Event Details

Sophie Kromholz: And Then There Was Nothing Left: Creative strategies to contemplate the carnality of absence

We are living in a time where most things which are being produced will not last. In today’s culture of obsolescence, which counters a history of material value and importance, large masses of things are produced to be disposable and ephemeral. Curator Dorothea Arnold, has noted, ‘As we live today, we constantly throw things away, so it is even more astonishing that things survive’. The use of ephemera has not only become prevalent in our everyday production and consumption, but also in creative production. Virtually everything and anything has the potential to be used in today’s art from modern materials, to common detritus, and foodstuffs. The proposed paper explores temporary artworks and how they function as creative strategies to explore death. Ephemeral artworks construct a performance of loss which illuminates what Severin Fowles describes as the “carnality of absence” – what is missing is sometimes as visceral as what is present. Like an ever present cut out in the frame, tracing the outlines of what is no longer there. Specifically, the scope of the paper considers how a certain group of works embody the notion of “letting go” – like an organic memento mori, they bring home that we are but dust and shadow, this too shall pass, and what it is to live.

Speakers for this event

  • Sophie Kromholz

    Sophie Kromholz


    I am a creative researcher and art historian, interested in experience driven art, collecting practices, and psychogeography, and how how our interaction with our immediate surroundings and landscape informs the stories we tell, and who we become. I have taught and lectured internationally, including at University of Glasgow and Maastricht University. I completed my PhD, “The Artwork Is Not Present: An investigation into the durational engagement with temporary artworks”, at the University of Glasgow in 2016. I previously also coordinated CoCARe – the interdisciplinary PhD and Postdoc Network for Conservation of Contemporary Art Research. Publications include “Collectible: The Social and Ethical Implications Surrounding the Collected Object” in Art, Cultural Heritage and the Market Ethical and Legal Issues, (Springer, 2014); “Living in the Material World – Making Sense of Material Matters in Relation to Temporary Artworks”, North Street Review, (2016); “What's the Matter? – Deconstructing the material lives of experience driven artworks”, AM Journal of Art and Media Studies, (2016); and “Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder: Experiencing the temporary artwork without the physical work”, Studies in Theatre and Performance, (Taylor & Francis, August 2018). Other writing includes editorial work and exhibition