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Lisa Blackmore | About
// About

s200_lisa.blackmore

I’m a Lecturer in Art History and Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Essex, United Kingdom. From 2014-7 I was the Postdoctoral Researcher on a three-year project called “Modernity and the Landscape in Latin America“, run by Jens Andermann and funded by the Swiss National Fund, at the University of Zurich. Before that I worked at the University of Leeds, the Universidad Simón Bolívar and Universidad Central de Venezuela. I received my PhD for the dissertation ¡Venezuela Progresa! Dictatorship, Spectacle and the Construction of Modernity in 2011 from Birkbeck College, University of London, supported by a full-time AHRC grant. You can find a list of publications over at Academia.edu

My monograph Spectacular Modernity: Dictatorship, Space and Visuality in Venezuela, 1948-1958 (U.P. Pittsburgh, 2017) drew on my doctoral research to repoliticize the cultural history of modernity in mid-century Venezuela by asking how architecture and public spectacles were leveraged to justify military rule. I continued to develop this interest in the legacies of urban modernity in my collaboration with Celeste Olalquiaga on the book Downward Spiral (UR, 2018) we co-edited on the modern ruin of El Helicoide: a huge, brutalist building in Caracas, designed as a spiral, drive-through shopping now, but used since the mid-1980s as a political jail. The feature-length documentary I made in collaboration with Jorge Domínguez Dubuc, traces these questions of how authoritarianism shapes the modern landscape, and how memory politics grapple with spatial legacies of dictatorship in the context of the Dominican Republic. We made an e-learning website called Después de Trujillo to host the film and research materials, which are all open access.  

My current research focuses on liquid ecologies in the arts, with a special emphasis on infrastructure and riverine spaces. I recently co-edited a volume titled Natura: Environmental Aesthetics After Landscape (diaphanes, 2018) to which I contributed a chapter on kinetic art and hydroelectricity in times of climate change.  I am also interested in contemporary art and issues of memory, photography and its interface with digital culture.

On this page you’ll find news on my research projects, extracts from my work on the urban imaginary of the “new” Caracas in the 1950s, articles I’ve published, an archive of postcards and some personal projects. 

Visual production:

lisablackmore-works.net

Research collaborations:

Proyecto Helicoide

Venezuela Research Network

Feel free to get in touch via email: lmblackmore<at>gmail.com