Inaugural Professorial Lecture - Professor Christoph Zellweger
This lecture reports on an on-going artistic enquiry into the constructed world of objects, bodies and identities. In the collective search for self-realisation and improvement, societies around the globe discuss the pros and cons of altering, rejuvenating and re-designing body parts beyond
medical necessities. Today it may be possible to state that, for parts of society, the human body has become a luxury item and a commodity to be optimised and aestheticised with the help of surgeons, psychologists and medical advisors. Are these professional communities engaging in art or design practices? Is self-design (autogenesis) becoming ritualised as a way to enhance social cohesion or to increase social distinction? This lecture will offer ground for debate on the new direction of social rituals, the relationship between art, design and the sciences, and the issues that arise when aesthetics meets ethics.
Professor Christoph Zellweger set out his research in the field of body adornment and contemporary jewellery art. His commitment to education and research at Sheffield Hallam University started in 1993. In 1998 he ran the newly established MA in the Metalwork and Jewellery Department. His research interests expanded into the field of body politics, medical and social sciences, wearable technology, critical and speculative aspects of design and art practices, craft research, tacit knowledge and idea generation processes. His recent work builds on research undertaken in operating theatres in clinics in Switzerland. His work has won international prizes and features in museums and collections in the UK, in continental Europe and North America.
Places are free and include light refreshments, but must be booked in advance.