Talk with Francesco Ventrella
Contemporary feminist and queer debates on abstraction, the theories of embodiment and formalist phenomenology would seem to suggest alternative positions, according to which – from refusal to representation – aesthetic as well as political possibilities could arise. Taking his cue from the notion of empathy of English lesbian writer Vernon Lee (1856-1935), Ventrella reinterprets queer aesthetics as a decay of the social reproduction of gender.
Francesco Ventrella is a Lecturer in Art History at the University of Sussex (UK) and Paul Mellon Rome Fellow at the British School at Rome, where he leads research on Vernon Lee, ancient sculpture and empathy theories in the early XX century. Francesco’s work deals with historiography, art writings, and modern and contemporary visual culture, and he has published several studies on feminist and queer aesthetics. In 2017, with Meaghan Clarke, he edited a special issue of the magazine Visual Resources titled ‘Women and the Culture of Connoisseurship’. With Giovanna Zapperi, he has been editing the upcoming essay collection Art and Feminism in Postwar Italy: The Legacy of Carla Lonzi.