JAC Talk is a regular program hosted by the JAC to bring together artists and creative minds to share their stories with the Jamestown community and beyond. “[D]isability enlarges our vision of human variation and difference, and puts forward perspectives that test presuppositions dear to the history of aesthetics.” –Tobin Siebers, 2010
“The human variations that we think of as disabilities in the broadest sense occur in every life and family and are a theme in all art and culture. Because these variances endure in human lived experience, we’ve recorded them as a set of stories that we receive, make, and remake over time and across place throughout human history.” –Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, 2022
As has been said by many, disability is all around us, all the time. It is a matter of knowing where and how to find it. In this talk, Conor Moynihan highlights the ways disability has been represented in the arts and why representation–and who is making that representation–matters.
Moynihan will introduce concepts formulated by disability activists and scholars, such as the Social Model of Disability, and build a set of examples that illustrate the history of disability in art history. Through a discussion of different types of representations, Moynihan considers what is gained when we center disability in art.
About Conor Moynihan:
Conor Moynihan is the Assistant Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the RISD Museum and a Visual Studies PhD Candidate at the University at Buffalo (SUNY). He is interested in performativity and identity-based issues, especially related to sexuality, gender, and disability. His exhibitions include Drama Queer: Seducing Social Change in 2016 (Vancouver, BC), Ill at Ease: Dis-ease in Art in 2017 (Buffalo, NY), Three Acts, Three Scenes: My Care, Your Care, Careful Care in 2018 (Brooklyn, NY), and Variance: Making, Unmaking, and Remaking Disability (Providence, RI). His forthcoming exhibition, The Performative Self-Portrait, at the RISD Museum in spring 2023 looks at photographers who turn the lens back on themselves, whether to enact an alternative identity or to engage with history or something else.