The Knot of Influence


ACLS Fellowship Program


Art and Art History, and Visual and Cultural Studies


Whereas many critics and scholars refute the canonizing, hierarchizing effects of influence, academic art training, museums, and audiences constantly generate and consider its effects. “The Knot of Influence” examines the kind of self that is at stake when influence is posited or observed. Three case studies allow the remodeling of this once-traditional concept according to new ideas about selfhood emerging in contemporary art: over three generations of teachers and students in an academic art studio in Warsaw, artists use influence self-reflexively, as a means of artistic production; in the life-work of two choreographers, one in Brussels and one in New York, the question arises as to whether an artist can influence herself; and across narrative and art film, slide-shows, and documentaries being made in Dublin, London, and Hollywood, the question of influence recasts the politics of identity, only to find its own premises shifted irrevocably.