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Research The Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG) Research Research centres Research Centre for Arts in Society

AMMI guest lecture - JUSTIN REMES (Iowa State University): "Nothing to See Here: Antiretinal Aesthetics in Louise Lawler’s 'A Movie Will Be Shown Without the Picture' "

When:Th 18-02-2021 18:00 - 20:00
An old fashioned movie theatre sign that reads "A movie without the picture", topped with neon letters spelling "AERO".

On 18 February, film scholar Justin Remes will give a guest lecture in the theme group 'Arts, Medium and Moving Images' of the Research Centre for Arts in Society. This is a public lecture, but please register through Google Forms .


In 1979 the conceptual artist Louise Lawler screened an imageless version of John Huston’s film The Misfits (1961) at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica, California. While most found footage filmmakers appropriate preexisting images, Lawler displays an interest in the appropriation of cinematic sounds. In this talk, I will argue that Lawler’s antiretinal aesthetic was profoundly shaped by the art of Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol.

Just as A Movie Will Be Shown Without the Picture is composed entirely of the sounds of a pre-existing film, this talk will be composed entirely of language from pre-existing texts. In other words, I will present a work of “found scholarship,” in which I construct academic arguments by “remixing” preexisting texts through the use of ellipses and brackets. By emulating the strategies of appropriation pioneered by Duchamp, Warhol, and Lawler, I explore what makes an art work, film, or scholarly presentation original.

About the speaker

Justin Remes is an assistant professor of film studies at Iowa State University. He is the author of Motion(less) Pictures: The Cinema of Stasis (Columbia UP, 2015) and Absence in Cinema: The Art of Showing Nothing (Columbia UP, 2020). He has also written articles for JCMS: The Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, Cinema Journal, and Screen. His current book project is a work of experimental scholarship entitled Found Footage Films.