Of Places and People, Art and Literature
Chair: Griselda Pollock
Alba Arikha and Janet Wolff present their stunning and idiosyncratic coming-of-age memoirs, exploring their family backgrounds, from post-war Manchester to 1980s Paris. They write of lives intellectually and emotionally enriched by those they encounter – in person, on canvas or through books – among them the leading thinkers, artists and writers of their days. Yet both grew up in the shadow of the Shoah, aware of family members lost, of war and of exile.
Alba Arikha was born and raised in Paris. Her vivid and haunting coming-of-age memoir Major/Minor is set in the 1980s, where she offers memories of her father, the artist Avigdor Arikha, her mother, the poet Anne Atik, and her godfather, Samuel Beckett. Her previous books include Soon, Muse and Walking on Ice. Arikha is also a pianist and songwriter. Her album Dans Les Rues De Paris was released in 2011.
Janet Wolff is a renowned art historian and writer. Professor Emerita in English, American Studies and Creative Writing at the University of Manchester, she was previously director of the PhD programme in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester, New York and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in Columbia University's School of the Arts. Her books include The Social Production of Art, Aesthetics and the Sociology of Art, Feminine Sentences: Essays on Women and Culture andThe Aesthetics of Uncertainty.
Griselda Pollock is Professor of the Social and Critical Histories of Art at the University of Leeds and the author of many acclaimed books including Visual Politics and Psychoanalysis: Art and the Image in Post-traumatic Cultures.