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PMC Postdoc Lecture: Edwin Coomasaru

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Edwin Coomasaru will present on his current research project 'Masculinity and Apocalypticism in Contemporary British Art'

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As the second speaker in our new Postdoctoral Fellowship Lecture Series, Edwin Coomasaru will present on his research project “Masculinity and Apocalypticism in Contemporary British Art”, funded by a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the PMC.

What is the relationship between masculinity and apocalypticism in contemporary British art? This lecture will consider links between gender, sexuality, race, and ecology in Derek Jarman’s film The Last of England (1987), Imran Perretta’s video the destructors (2019), and Heather Phillipson’s installation RUPTURE NO 1: blowtorching the bitten peach (2021). Armageddon as a cultural idea has long contained a series of conceptual contradictions: beginnings and endings, revelation and annihilation. Eschatological imagery has been contested by artists and politicians calling for a new world or a male saviour figure. Jarman, Perretta, and Phillipson reveal the role of collective violence in visions of national crisis.

Edwin Coomasaru is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre, researching a project on Masculinity and Apocalypticism in British Art, 1967-2020. In 2021 he worked as a Freelance Research Assistant on the Association for Art History’s resource portal dedicated to decolonial and anti-racist approaches to the discipline. He was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship and PhD from the Courtauld Institute of Art, where he co-convenes the Gender & Sexuality Research Group and is co-editing a book on Imagining the Apocalypse: Art and the End Times for Courtauld Books Online. He has contributed to Third Text, British Art Studies, Oxford Art Journal, and the Barbican’s Masculinities (2020) exhibition catalogue.

Image credit: Still image from Imran Perretta, the destructors, 2019. Courtesy of the Artist.

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Organiser Paul Mellon Centre Early Career Researchers' Group

Organiser of PMC Postdoc Lecture: Edwin Coomasaru

The aim of the network is to support ECRs working in the field of British art history.

If you would like to get involved, email us at: ecrbritart@gmail.com

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