Encoding/Decoding: From Abstraction to Activism (Extended)

Spring 2013

Monday 10am to 12 / 2pm to 5pm

Tuesday 10am to 12 / 2pm to 5pm

Wednesday 10am to 12 / 2pm to 5pm 

Universität / Haute École
Geneva University of art and design (HEAD)
Denis Pernet
Contact email
for student applications
Content description

Film and video program and seminar/workshop

With art works by Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz (CH/DE), Aleksandra Domanovic (RY/DE), Elise Gagnebin-de Bons (CH), Sharon Hayes (USA), Alfred Hitchcock (UK/USA), Oliver Husain (CA), Tom Kalin (USA), Vincnet Minnelli (USA), Adrien Missika (F/CH),  Frédéric Moser and Philippe Schwinger (CH), Emanuel Rossetti (CH), Jordan Wolfson (USA).

 “From Abstract to Activism” is, in this first version, an attempt to present different video works together with a notion of collage and of intertextuality in the context of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. The program was presented in 2010 in East-Jerusalem and in Ramallah for the Eternal Tour festival. The program questions the encoding of sexual and political message in contemporary art. The extended version tacks back the encoding strategies in the film history of the Hays code years in Hollywood in the 1940’s and 1950’s.

Day One, morning

“Good Morning Hollywood” (with coffee and croissants)

Alfred Hitchcock, “Rope”, 1948 (extracts)

Vincent Minnelli, “Tea and Sympathy”, 1956 (extracts)

Tom Kalin, “Swoon”, 1992 (extracts)

Day one, afternoon

“From Abstraction to Activism”, film and video program curated and presented by Denis Pernet 

Discussion on the theme "To hide or to show: encoding of (political) message in contemporary art"

Days Two and Three

Each student presents his research to the group in regard to the theme of the workshop, and discussion.

Advice reference: Stuart Hall, 'Encoding/Decoding', Ch. 10 in Stuart Hall, Dorothy Hobson, et al. (eds), Culture, Media, Language (London: Hutchinson, 1980), pp. 128-38; Download on


First meeting : Monday 4 March, 10am room 27

9 Boulevard Helvétique

1205 Genève

Tel +41 22 388 58 81/82

 Langue/Language: Français Anglais