Hal Fischer Photographs: Seriality, Sexuality, Semiotics, installation at Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 2021.
Hal Fischer, Bobby at the Beach, 1975. Gelatin silver print, 14 x 11 in. Courtesy of the artist © Hal Fischer
Hal Fischer, Submission, from Gay Semiotics, 1977; printed 2014. Pigment inkjet on porous, resin-coated paper. Museum purchase through the Robert and Sonia Carringer Art Acquisitions Fund. 2019-2-1.12
Hal Fischer, The Best Friend, from Boy-Friends, 1979; printed 2016. Pigment inkjet on porous, resin-coated paper. Museum purchase through the Robert and Sonia Carringer Art Acquisitions Fund. 2019-2-3.1-2
Nov 06, 2021 - 10am–6pm
Lower Level, Auditorium (KAM 62)

Join us for a public symposium on the photography of Hal Fischer, featuring an international panel of scholars responding to the artist about his body of work.

This symposium is made possible through support from Terra Foundation for American Art.

This public symposium organized by Tim Dean, James M. Benson Professor in English at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Dean is the guest curator of Hal Fischer Photographs: Seriality, Sexuality, Semiotics at Krannert Art Museum. His research on human sexuality encompasses historical, cultural, philosophical, and psychoanalytic perspectives, with particular interest in what kinds of vocabularies are available, at different historical moments, for talking about sex.


Photographer Hal Fischer will be the respondent for this symposium. Over a career spanning four decades, Fischer has been an artist, art critic, and museum professional. His work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions and is featured in both public and private collections. 



Symposium Schedule


10 am             
Welcome & Opening Remarks | Tim Dean

10:10 am
Presentation by Peter Rehberg
Clones in the Museum: Exhibiting Gay Masculinities Now

Introduction by Tim Dean


11:00 am             
Presentation by Terri Weissman
Ordinary Deviance: Humor and the Everyday in Hal Fischer’s Conceptual Photographs

Introduction by Antoinette Burton


12:00 pm              
Presentation by João Florêncio
The Attack of the Clones: Sampling, Seriality, and Queer World-Making

Introduction by Nic Flores


1:00 pm
Poem by Jacques J. Rancourt
Crossed Signals

Introduction by Corey Van Landingham


1:15 - 2:30 pm | Break for Lunch         


2:30 pm
Presentation by John Paul Ricco
Preface to Profanation

 Introduction by Tim Dean


3:30 pm
Presentation by Maryam Kashani
Soul of the City: The Struggles for San Francisco

Introduction by Amy Powell


4:30 pm               
Presentation by Eugenie Brinkema
Form Is Vers

Introduction by Lilya Kaganovsky


5:30 pm
Response by Hal Fischer

Introduction by Jon Seydl



About the Presenters

Eugenie Brinkema

Assoc. Prof of Literature & Film, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Brinkema’s research in film and media studies focuses on violence, affect, sexuality, aesthetics, and ethics in texts ranging from the horror film to gonzo pornography, from the body of films dubbed “New European Extremism” to the viral media forms of terrorism.


João Florêncio

Senior Lecturer in History of Modern and Contemporary Art and Visual Culture, University of Exeter, UK

Florêncio is a cultural theorist of the body working on representations of sex, health, disease and Nature vis-à-vis biopolitics and the political, philosophical, and technoscientific history the dyad immunity/community. 


Maryam Kashani

Assistant Prof. of Asian American Studies, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Visiting Fellow, Yale Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transational Migration

Kashani's research focuses on racial/ethnic/religious diasporas and transnational political movements; gender and sexuality; Islam and Muslim communities; visual anthropology, documentary, and experimental filmmaking; visual culture and the senses; knowledge, ethics, and power; and new media forms and methods.


Jacques Rancourt


Jacques J. Rancourt has published two poetry collections, Brocken Spectre (Alice James Books) and Novena (Pleiades Press), as well as a chapbook, In the Time of PrEP (Beloit Poetry Journal). 


Peter Rehberg

Head of Collections and Archive, Schwules Museum, Berlin

Head of Collections since 2018, Rehberg's research involves questions of visual culture, for example contemporary queer photography and fanzines. He has published academic work mainly in the area of queer studies, media studies, and popular culture, for example on topics such as pornography or the Eurovision Song Contest.


John Paul Ricco

Professor of Contemporary Art, Queer Theory, Aesthetics & Ethics, University of Toronto

Ricco is an art historian and queer theorist whose interdisciplinary research, teaching, and writing, draws connections between late 20-century and contemporary art and architecture; continental philosophy; and issues of gender and sexuality, bodies and pleasures, pornography and eroticism. He is widely recognized for his engagement with the work of French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy.


Terri Weissman

Associate Prof and Chair of Art History, School of Art + Design, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Weissman holds an affiliated appointment in the Unit for Criticism and Interpretative Theory and teaches modern and contemporary art history, the history of photography, and the history of design. She is the author of The Realisms of Berenice Abbott: Documentary Photography and Political Action (University of California Press, 2011),  co-author (with Sharon Corwin and Jessica May) of American Modern: Documentary Photographs by Abbott, Evans, and Bourke-White (University of California Press, 2010), and co-author (with Erina Duganne and Heather Diack) of Photography: A Critical History (Bloombsury, 2020).