Words/Works/Walls: Conceptual Architectures in Visual Culture

words works walls image

Walls withstand, divide, and shape. We are interested in the discourse surrounding the physical wall, one that takes its architectural features as metaphor for the wall’s underlying, conceptual structures. How is viewership structured by walls (perceived or physical) and constructed by art historical tradition as much as museum practice? How can new theories, or the revitalization of older ones, enable us to learn about a wall as an artwork, and how can this inform our modes of art historical understanding that structure methodological practices? Can consideration of theoretical space in visual culture tell us about the way in which “wall” as a concept has grown in various socio-political landscapes? Our conference will think about walls as barriers, as modes of presentation, as frameworks for understanding, and as key components of global visual culture.


Keynote address: Mary Carruthers

Panel 1: architecute of authority

  • Leo Schmidt
  • Leslie Topp

Panel two: Architecture of spectacle:

  • Bruce Boucher
  • Anthony Geraghty

Artist talk on the architecture of memory with:

  • Do Ho Suh


The day will include lunch and a closing wine reception. Please RSVP here


Oxford Medieval Studies

Contact email: wordsworkswalls@gmail.com
Audience: Open to all