Person

Ellen Suneson

Doctoral Student

  • Division of Art History and Visual Studies
  • Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences

Contact information

E-mail ellen.sunesonkultur.luse

Phone +46 46 222 40 55

Mobile +46 70 639 17 18

Room C:457

Visiting address
Helgonavägen 3, Lund

Postal address
Box 192, 221 00 Lund

Internal post code 30

PhD student in the Division of Art History and Visual Studies.

The objective of my PhD project “Portraying Ambivalence: The Art and Politics of Embarrassing Attachments,” is to dig deep into the complicated, thrilling, painful, embarrassing, and relentless terrain of institutionalization. By turning to the works of five artists, T.J. Dedeaux Norris (US), Laura Aguilar (US), Sands Murray-Wassink (NL), Jenny Grönvall (SE), and Xandra Ibarra (US), my dissertation aim to direct the attention toward a number of artworks that depict the sticky, abstruse, and blurry terrain in which artists tries, and recurrently fails, to discern their own agency, aesthetic preferences, or ideas from those prevalent on the field of vulnerability and susceptibility characterized as ‘the art world.’

I will visit the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, as a short-term scholar during Fall semester of 2018 and Spring semester of 2019.

Research

My profile in Lund University research portal

PhD candidate in Art History and Visual Studies at the Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences, Lund University. 

The preliminary title of my PhD project is “PORTRAYING UNEASE: The Art and Politics of Uncomfortable Attachments.” 

Based on the works of five artists: Laura Aguilar (US), T.J. Dedeaux Norris (US), Sands Murray-Wassink (NE), Jenny Grönvall (SE) and Xandra Ibarra (US), my thesis discusses how art circulates as what Sara Ahmed calls a “happy object” in art history and visual studies written from feminist, queer, and critical race perspectives. Ahmed describes “happy objects” as objects that circulate as social goods, associated with positive value.

Of particular focus in my study is artworks that problematize artists’ dependency on various institutions and discourses in the art field from feminist, queer or critical race perspectives. This genre of works is oftentimes described, by art historians and visual theorists, in terms of how the works “radically challenges,” “resists,” or “criticises,” artistic, societal or institutional norms. Hence, while the art field might be described in terms of how it operates by discriminatory or hierarchal structures, (particular kinds of) artworks are still portrayed as happy objects; as objects that promises a momentary critical distance from the biased structures of the field. Rather than solely asking how feelings can be interpreted as diagnostic of structural discrimination or oppression, Ahmed asks us to explore “feelings of structure,” that is, that “feelings might be how structures get under our skin” (2010). Based on philosophical theories discussing themes of promises, hope, and happiness, my study aims to explore an alternative premise that, I argue, is frequently also evident in this genre of artworks, albeit not as often discussed. My project is organized around a number of artworks that, I argue, portray how the hopes and promises of resistance and repair embedded in art can, in moments when this anticipation is experienced as futile or failed, become a source of self-blame, confusion, embarrassment, or despair.

Articles (2)

Book chapters (5)

Conference contributions (4)

Miscellaneous (1)

Teaching

Other tasks and qualifications

Master's thesis, 'GESTURES OF FAILURE: Performances of otherness, masochism and unbecoming in Thea Djordjadze's exhibition our full'

Ellen Suneson

Doctoral Student

  • Division of Art History and Visual Studies
  • Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences

Contact information

E-mail ellen.sunesonkultur.luse

Phone +46 46 222 40 55

Mobile +46 70 639 17 18

Room C:457

Visiting address
Helgonavägen 3, Lund

Postal address
Box 192, 221 00 Lund

Internal post code 30