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Session will present: In-Person
Affiliated Society or Committee Name: Association of Print Scholars
Anastasia Belyaeva, University of Geneva and Roman Grigoryev, Hebrew University at Jerusalem

This panel seeks to investigate the brutality of the printmaking process. Techniques such as engraving, drypoint, or woodcut, imply a battle with the matter by altering the matrix with sharp tools. Chemical processes in etching entail the danger of explosions and burns. Making changes on a metal plate requires burnishing out and leveling with a hammer. Pressure is required to drag a squeegee when making a screenprint. Force is required to manipulate a press. The very terminology of printmaking is aggressive: plates cut, scratched, impressions pulled, matrices cancelled and destroyed.
This physical intensity on the edge of violence affects the working process and the work. Rembrandt’s "The Three Crosses", for example, embodies both the aggressive treatment of the plate and the atmosphere of the Golgotha events. Or, Gaston Blachard’s analysis of Albert Flocon’s engravings led to his theory of printmaking as "combat anthropocosmique." Taller de Gráfica Popular’s trademark of hands cutting a matrix with knifes refers both to their preference for linocut and woodcut techniques and the group’s self-representation as armed fighters.

The panel invites papers that examine the impact that the brutality of printmaking methods have on the artists, the aesthetics, and the poetics, and on their perception by the public and scholars. We welcome papers studying the connection between violence and printmaking across all cultures and periods, and across a variety of approaches, including, but not limited to, material, conceptual, and methodological, both through a theoretical lens and through the lens of the creative practice.

***Submissions due to session chairs by August 31, 2023

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