New Perspectives Talk: Credible Testimony and Gender-Based Violence

June 24, 2023
2 pm

Jessica Baran, MA student in the Department of Art History & Archaeology in Arts & Sciences, discusses collection artworks by such contemporary artists as Sue Coe and Adrian Piper that address gender-based violence and its representations in art and popular culture. Baran considers how these works can be seen as critiques of the need for visual evidence or "credible" testimony as recourse to justice, both of which unduly burden an already-vulnerable individual. She asks how visual art can perhaps serve as a tool for discourse, protest, and reform.

Free and open to the public.

New Perspectives

New Perspectives talks are opportunities to learn more about the Museum’s collection from emerging scholars. The talks are given by graduate students in Arts & Sciences and the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts and focus on one or more works from the collection, often aligning with the students’ own expertise and scholarly interests.

About the speaker

Jessica Baran is a Graduate Fellow pursuing an MA in modern and contemporary art. Her research interests are centered around the interplay among art, place, identity. She is the author of three poetry collections, and her art reviews and essays appear regularly in publications such as Artforum and Art in America. In 2021 she was the recipient of an Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for short-form criticism to support critical writing about artists and exhibitions situated across the greater Midwestern region. Alongside her freelance writing, she has spent over a decade organizing exhibitions and programming at a range of independent and community-focused art spaces in St. Louis. She is also an educator who has instructed and advised graduate students in the MFA program at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts and taught writing in Saint Louis University’s Prison Arts & Education program. Originally from Northwest Indiana, she holds a BA in visual art from Columbia University and an MFA in poetry writing from Washington University in St. Louis. In the summer of 2022, she received a graduate summer research fellowship from the Center for Humanities' Divided City initiative, which supported her work on the People’s Art Center of St. Louis (1942–1965). You can find more about her work here.

Image credits

Adrian Piper (American, b. 1948), Let's Talk, from the portfolio 10: Artist as Catalyst, c. 1992. 5-color serigraph, 26 x 26 in. University purchase, 1994; Sue Coe (British, b. 1951), Thank You America, 1991. Photolithograph from two Fuji positive plates with gouache on cream Rives BFK paper, 43 1/2 x 30 in. Gift of Island Press (formerly the Washington University School of Art Collaborative Print Workshop), 1992.