Naomi Stewart - Touchez, s’il vous plait: the hand as surrealist motif in Dora Maar’s photographic works
Hands are a recurrent motif in surrealism. From objets trouvés (by the likes of Valentine Hugo and Meret Oppenheim) to photographic works (by Maurice Tabard and Man Ray, for example), haptic perception is continually evoked through the symbolism of the hand. Focussing principally on Dora Maar’s 1934 image Sans Titre (Main-Coquillage), this talk will explore the significance of the hand as motif in her photographic oeuvre. It will propose that Maar’s visual interest in the constellated notions of tactility, texture and transformation – conjured by the hand – can be most productively understood in relation to the (arguably linked) operations of eroticism and de-hierarchisation.
Naomi Stewart is a third year History of Art PhD student and Wolfson Scholar. Her thesis is the first scholarly exploration of Dora Maar’s photographic works and their dialogic relationships with surrealism.
The seminar is free to all and will be followed by a wine reception.