Photography Performing Humor


LUCA School of Arts
Paleizenstraat 70
1030 Brussels

The conference will explore the nature and meaning of the relationship between photography, performance and humor within the field of visual arts and visual culture. Although humor is clearly omnipresent in a wide spectrum of photographic practices — ranging from advertising or art photography to family snapshots with their obligatory ‘smile’ or the classic Tower of Pisa joke — the topic has yet to be fully discovered by researchers. While in recent years photography theory has witnessed the affective turn, its focus remained largely on photographic representations of suffering, trauma and loss. It is no coincidence then, that one of the central metaphors to think the affective quality of the medium, Barthes’ punctum, relates affect to being wounded. This conference resolutely chooses to elaborate a lighter, humorous side of photography and aims to map different strategies and practices. We are specifically interested in the triad photography – performance – humor and the ways in which the staging of the (human) body or other performative gestures elicit humorous photographic effects. We welcome lectures, artists’ talks, portfolio viewings and performances in order to assemble, exchange and confront different perspectives and approaches, both in theory and practice.


  • KULeuven
  • LUCA School of Arts
  • Lieven Gevaert Leerstoel vzw
  • Lieven Gevaert Research Centre

Lieven Gevaert Centre
KU Leuven, Faculty of Arts
Blijde Inkomststraat 21 pb 3313
B-3000 Leuven

Lieven Gevaert Centre
UC Louvain, Archéologie et d'histoire d'art
FIAL - Place Blaise Pascal 1 bte L3.03.13
B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve