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The University of Southampton
Winchester School of Art

Professor Victor Burgin - Flash Art International

Published: 7 February 2017
Cover of Flash Art Int. 312

The prestigious journal, Flash Art International, has featured WSA Professor Victor Burgin in their latest issue. His article looks at representation in art and how it can lead to an understanding of the cultural formation of notions of sexuality.

As the magazine themselves describe:

"While reviewing past issues of Flash Art, we stumbled upon an article by British artist Victor Burgin discussing the show Difference: On Representation and Sexuality, held at the New Museum, New York, in 1984. According to the show's press release, it was premised on "recent interest in the issue of representation [that] has prompted many artists to explore the cultural formation of our notions of sexuality." In Burgin's article, which we reprinted as this issue's "Time Machine," he analyses in terms of the "difficulty of difference" the critical response against the "political conceptualism" embraced by many of the Difference artists, whose works were dismissed as démodé during a time when formalist and expressionist fashions were ascendant. "What was at issue in the work was not a transient aesthetic form but a long-established semiotic form—text/image—encountered in most aspects of the everyday environment." Defending his and his fellow artists' lack of concern with the development of a recognizable style, Burgin explains that "the work of such 'works of art' was upon systems of representations which were not confined within the institutions and practices of 'art.'" Amid the hostility encountered by the Difference works, Burgin discerned "a reflex refusal to admit difference that has more to do with our 'large-scale' politics than we care to imagine."

Victor Burgin is an artist and writer with a long pedigree, and became a Professor at WSA in October 2016. You can read more about him here.

More about the magazine can be seen at

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