Sunday, July 2, 3PM

Reading and Discussion of 'What is an Image?' by W. J. T. Mitchell (1984)

The purpose of reading this essay and to host an interweaving discussion, is neither to produce a new or better definition of the essential nature of images, nor to examine any specific pictures or works of art. The procedure instead will be to examine some of the ways we use the concept of image, expanding out from the 'graphic' image into the fields of literature, psychology, theology and philosophy. In Mitchell's 1984 essay 'What is an Image?', he proposes a quasi-scientific analysis of images beginning with a genealogy of the variety of things that go by this name; pictures, statues, optical illusions, maps, diagrams, dreams, hallucinations, spectacles, projections, poems, patterns, memories and even ideas. Consciousness itself, he argues, can be understood as an activity of pictorial production, governed by mechanisms such as lenses, receptive surfaces, and agencies for printing, impressing or leaving traces on these surfaces. The aim of this discussion is to open for inquiry the ways our understanding of imagery grounds itself in a history of understanding what being human is.

"Images are not just a particular kind of sign, but something like an actor on the historical stage, a presence or character endowed with legendary status, a history that parallels and participates in the stories we tell ourselves about our own evolution from creatures "made in the the image" of a creator to creatures who make themselves and their world in their own image." (Mitchell, 504)

Emma LaMorte is a Canadian artist currently working and living in Berlin. Her artistic practice bounces between mediums, often taking the form of textile-based collage and sculpture, as well as video and performance. Recent exhibitions include 7 Veils at Galleri Mejan, Stockholm, SE; Internal Climates at Sunset Terrace, Vancouver, CA; Cruising (curated by Daniel Iinati) on the Mariella Viking Line, Stockholm SE; Period Pieces at Projet Pangée, Montreal, CA. She received her BFA at Emily Carr University of Art, Vancouver, CA and her MFA at the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm, SE. Recent residencies include the Fondazione Antonio Ratti with Yvonne Rainer and Andrea Kleine in Como, IT.


Studio Sunday is conceived as an intimate setting for an evening of exchange, in which to share ideas, discuss themes in contemporary art, and encourage mutual familiarity between the many artists and thinkers working in Berlin. The semi-privacy of ateliers, amongst various works in progress, provides an intimate setting for dialogue and a casual yet critical environment for productive sharing. The collaborative reading and discussion is in keeping with the community based and non-authoritative ethos of the series.

Marking the 150 year anniversary of Canada, Ashley Berlin is proudly working in collaboration with the Embassy of Canada.