I was recently fortunate to present a paper at the recent Contesting Identities Symposium hosted by the Photography Studies College (PSC) at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale. My paper, "Funny and Feminist: Playing the Comic Anti-hero", spoke of the potential for humour to liberate the viewer, and thus humour's use for revolutionary feminist thought. My paper looked at writings on humour by Sigmund Freud, Henri Bergson, Jo Anna Isaak, Simon Critchley, with a nod to those comic anti-hero's par excellence, Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. Jill Orr gave an expansive keynote, and Ann O'Hehir from the National Gallery of Australia gave a wonderful opening address on the work of artist Carol Jerrems. Of particular note was Jerrems fastidious archiving, a dream for curators and conservators alike (artists take note was the none too subtle hint!) My session included papers by Lucia Rossi and Clare Rae that collectively interrogated the rich field of female subjectivity.
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