Alice David - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Alice David

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Alice David

PhD Candidate

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Countercultural Print Tactics: Printing Progress and Anti-Progress in Latin America between the 1970s and 1980s

Supervised by Dr Klara Kemp-Welch

Funded by AHRC/CHASE 

Throughout the 1970s and 80s, a number of countercultural artists in Latin America began to experiment with printmaking and mechanically printed art. While many revisited familiar processes such as engraving and woodcut, many others began to incorporate photomechanical printing technologies such as Xerox and photoengraving into their oeuvre. Through analyses of the alternative print scenes operating in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico, my thesis now proposes a new reading of artists’ use of printing and printmaking technologies in Latin America, reconciling reprographic equipment – namely Xerox and the mimeograph machine – into the region’s strong tradition of socially engaged graphic art. At the same time, the thesis stakes a claim for the political and artistic significance of printmaking within the wider field of countercultural art in the 1970s and 80s. While we benefit from a comprehensive literature on photography and photographic theory, we have yet to develop equally sophisticated theoretical frameworks for printing. In studying the ways in which artists both responded to and rejected the established conventions of the medium, I explore questions such as the significance of producing multiples within narratives of concept-based dematerialisation, the ontological relationship between originals and copies, and what it meant to work both within and against the self-replicating parameters of a historically distinct tradition within art and art history.

 

Education

  • PhD Candidate, The Courtauld Institute of Art (2019 – present)
  • MA History of Art, The Courtauld Institute of Art (2017 – 2018)
  • BA Modern Languages, University of Bristol (2013 – 2017)

 

Conference Papers

  • Semi-Mechanical Print Tactics and Urban Interventions in Mexico City (1971–82), AAH Annual Conference, Brighton, 2018.

Research Interests 

  • Printmaking, printing, and alternative print media
  • Countercultural art and politics in the 1970s and 80s
  • Art and technology
  • Intersections between art and economic processes

 

Other Activities 

  • Teaching Assistant at The Courtauld’s Summer School, 2020
  • Associate Editor at immediations, 2019 – 2020

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