Francis Bacon: Painting, Philosophy, Psychoanalysis

New and edited by Ben Ware, Director CPVA Philosophy|Arts.

We are delighted to announce that in October Thames & Hudson will publish Francis Bacon: Painting, Philosophy, Psychoanalysis, edited by Ben Ware. This text goes beyond established readings of Bacon with a groundbreaking collection of essays by some of today’s most prominent philosophers and psychoanalytic critics:

Ben Ware’s new book
  • Bacon’s Cynegetic Vision – Howard Caygill, Professor of Modern European Philosophy in the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University
  • Scratching the Surface: Distance and Intimacy in Study of Henrietta Moraes Laughing – Gregg Horowitz, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York City
  • Revisiting the Mirror Phase – Darian Leader, Psychoanalyst and Member of the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research and of the College of Psychoanalysts
  • From Deconstruction to Plasticity: Morphing Francis Bacon – Catherine Malabou, Professor of Philosophy at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University
  • From Sense to Sensation: Bacon, Pasting Paint and the Futility of Lacanian Psychoanalysis – Dany Nobus, Professor of Psychoanalytic Psychology at Brunel University, and Former Chair of the Freud Museum
  • The Imposture of the Self Portrait – Renata Salecl, Professor of Psychology, Psychoanalysis and Law at Birkbeck College, University of London
  • Looking the Negative in the Face: Modernist Painting after Affect – Ben Ware, Co-Director of the Centre for Philosophy and Visual Arts, King’s College, London
  • Bacon and the Art of Objective Humour – Alenka Zupancic, Senior Researcher at the Institute of Philosophy, Slovene Academy of Sciences

Bacon’s work is brought into dialogue with a range of figures, including Hegel, Kant, Freud, Lacan, Heidegger and Deleuze and is situated in the broader cultural contexts of modernism and modernity. 

Lies, Damned Lies and Post-Truth

Sun 22 September: 10:30am |Venue: Arena |Event [75] | Kenwood House,
Debates & Talks

Host: Joanna Kavenna.

Panel: Steve Fuller, Sacha Golob, Peter Pomerantsev, Asa Wikforss.

Tickets: How the Light Gets In


It seemed that we had all got used to the idea that rather than a single definitive truth there are a multiplicity of competing and alternative perspectives. Now with the rise of ‘fake news’ and publicising of blatant lies, we want to reassert the importance of accuracy and truth. Can we call out lies and deception while still allowing for radically different ways of seeing? Is there a difference between truth within a perspective and truth that extends to all perspectives? Or should we simply conclude that postmodernism and relativism were a dangerous mistake?

Author of Post Truth Steve Fuller, theoretical philosopher Åsa Wikforss, continental philosopher Sacha Golob and former Moscow journalist and author of This is Not Propaganda Peter Pomerantsev ask whether anybody has a monopoly on truth.

The Ethics of Capturing: 28 May 2019

A Collaboration between The Photographers’ Gallery and the Centre for Philosophy and the Visual Arts at King’s College London

Laura Pannack

© Laura Pannack

Photography plays a powerful and pervasive role in contemporary society and raises a series of complex ethical questions for photographers, their subjects, curators, and audiences. For example, who or what should be captured, and by whom? When, if ever, should we refuse to photograph or be photographed? Which images should be circulated? When should we look, or look away?

In the lead up to TPG’s 50th anniversary in 2021, The Ethics of Photography is a series of events bringing together practitioners, curators, academics, and other stakeholders, to discuss the enduring ethical issues at the heart of photography. Looking back through a selection of pathbreaking exhibitions from the Gallery’s archive, we explore in depth the moral issues connected with the images at hand.

This first event unpicks The Ethics of… Capturing, with reflection on TPG’s opening exhibition The Concerned Photographer. Questions addressed, both relevant to then and now, include: Does a photographer have a distinct set of artistic, ethical, and professional obligations, different from those of (other) visual artists? Or are there people/objects/scenes that should not be captured or circulated?

Speakers include Paul Lowe, photographer and Course Leader for MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at London College of Communication; Laura Pannack, British social documentary and portrait photographer; Dawn M Wilson, Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Hull; and chaired by Sarah Fine, Centre for Philosophy and the Visual Arts, King’s College London.

Book Tickets here £8/£5 members & concessions.

Wendland: On What Makes us Human

“Far from being endowed with divine rationality that distinguishes us from the beasts, Bacon’s paintings show us just how savage our exercise of reason can be.”

Wendland‘s contribution to the Tate Britain-CPVA series ‘What makes us Human: On Anxiety’ was philosophically magnetic.  But if you missed out on that and event, you can still calm your angst, by reading Wendland‏ ‘s compelling current review of the Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud show at the Pushkin Museum in the Moscow Times.

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/04/06/all-too-human-the-school-of-london-exhibition-a65124

Girl with a White Dog 1950-1 by Lucian Freud 1922-2011

Girl with a White Dog 1950-1 Lucian Freud 1922-2011 Purchased 1952 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N06039

Video work by CPVA 2019 Artist Jort van der Laan acquired by the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

Jort-van-der-Laan-Neither-of-Us-is-Powerless-2018

Image: Jort van der Laan, Neither of Us is Powerless, 2018, video, 8-minute loop, courtesy the artist

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam has recently announced that it has acquired the video work Neither of Us is Powerless by Jort van der Laan. The work is being shown now, in the exhibition Freedom of Movement.

Jort collaborated with Philosopher Dr Sarah Fine  (King’s College, London) for the 2019 CPVA Residency & Bush House exhibition which explored and challenged philosophical conceptions of migration, time and meaning. The CPVA Residency programme is conducted in partnership with Kunsthuis SYB.

A Piece of Blue Velvet Hanging
Jort van der Laan developed the video work Neither of Us is Powerless during a residency period at Kunsthuis SYB. It was shown during a short presentation, titled A Piece of Blue Velvet Hanging in October 2018 at SYB. Van der Laan’s residency took place in the context of a two-part exchange of Ben Cain and Jort van der Laan between Kunsthuis SYB and King’s College Center for Philosophy and Visual Arts.

Kunsthuis SYB
Kunsthuis SYB has its exhibition space and home in the Frisian village of Beetsterzwaag, SYB is an open, hospitable home and workplace in a quiet corner of the Dutch art world, where experimentation, research and collaboration are fostered. Kunsthuis SYB aims to facilitate the artistic and professional development of artists, curators and writers.