Pool 8: The Wise Fool

Spring Term 2019

10:00 - 18:00 o'clock

22 March
04 April
09 / 16 May

Universität / Haute École
Zürcher Hochschule der Künste
Leila Peacock
Contact email
for student applications
Content description

This seminar will take as a departure point the figure of the wise fool in Shakespeare’s King Lear to examine some of the functions of humour in art and the possible intersections between the preoccupations of the comedian and the artist. We will discuss different styles and strategies of humour and the different forms and function jokes can take, as well as a discussion of satire and its paradoxes and the politics of humour. From the absurd, slapstick, caricature, spoof, parody and irony to dark comedy, what makes people laugh, what is the role of laughter, what does our humour say about who we think we are at any given time, and how do artists use and abuse the power of the comedic in their work.

We will make reference to, amongst others, the work of: Alphonse Allais, Marcel Duchamp, Samuel Beckett, Saul Steinberg, Ad Reinhardt, John Baldessari, Fischli and Weiss, Martin Creed, Hans Peter Feldman, Richard Prince, Guy Ben-Ner, Dan Perjovschi, Yoko Ono, Slavs and Tartars, Rajnar Kjartansson, Pablo Helguera, Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch, Roman Signer, Frances Stark, Alex Bag, Beni Bischof, Mika Rottenberg, as well as the work of selected comedians.

Leila Peacock (b.1981) is an artist from the UK. She holds Masters degrees in Literature and Fine Art. She was a recipient of the Kadist Production Award (2016) and the Werkstipendium from the Städt Zürich (2016) and the Binz39 Atelierstipendium (2015-17). Her essays have been published in The Bulletin of the Serving Library, The White Review, Camenzind and Gully Havoc. Her practice combines writing and drawing and her work variously takes the form of essays, cartoons, poems, diagrams and jokes.