Discussion: Haig Aivazian, Joseph Masco, and Lisa Wedeen


The works in Haig Aivazian’s All of the Lights cover a lot of ground—geographically, historically, and conceptually—as they draw out connections between places, things, and events that might at first seem unrelated. In his two videos and the surrounding installation, considerations of power, technology, and the control of public life rise into view as he makes compelling use of found footage and other repurposed materials.

On the final weekend of the exhibition, two scholars from the University of Chicago, Joseph Masco, Professor of Anthropology, and Lisa Wedeen, the Mary R. Morton Professor of Political Science, offered their reflections on Aivazian’s work and their own, before joining the artist in discussion, moderated by curator Karsten Lund.

Each working at the intersection of many fields in their research, Masco and Wedeen, like Aivazian, at times delve into the effects of technology, political imaginaries in the US or the Middle East, power and violence, and the roles played by mass mediation and visual culture. Together with the artist, they offer wide-ranging perspectives on these dynamics, to name only a few, and the images and narratives that shape them.