Talk at 1014: “No Body Is Closed” - Cornelia Thomsen and Siri Hustvedt in Conversation (April 7)

Headshots of Cornelia Thomsen and Siri Hustvedt

Headshots of Cornelia Thomsen and Siri Hustvedt, © Cornelia Thomsen; Siri Hustvedt - Mario Ettinger (Seix Barral)

31.03.2022 - Article

A conversation between visual artist Cornelia Thomsen and renowned novelist and essayist Siri Hustvedt, moderated by Eric Banks, Director, New York Institute for the Humanities.

In this exchange, the two New York-based creatives, painter and author, will reflect on the concept of the collective self―the many ways in which human identities are created, disassembled, and reconfigured in the context of social, political, historical, cultural, and familial systems.

They will discuss how the complex process by which countless influences bear upon the formation and evolution of the self has impacted their personal histories and memories. How, for instance, did their selves evolve at the interstices of different languages, cultures, and political systems? What influence has this multiplicity of belonging had on their later lives? How do memories, and present circumstances, continually reshape one’s sense of being and self -- and, in that context, how has the experience of motherhood reshaped their identities? How are their multifaceted and multitudinous identities reflected, discussed, and negotiated in their literature and art?

About the panelist:

Siri Hustvedt, a novelist and scholar, has a PhD in English literature and is a lecturer in psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College. She is the author of a book of poems, seven novels, four collections of essays, and two works of nonfiction. She has published papers in various academic and scientific journals and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious Princess of Asturias Award for Literature, the European Charles Veillon Essay Prize, an American Academy of the Arts and Letters Award in Literature, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction for The Blazing World, which was also longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Cornelia Thomsen was born 1970 in Rudolstadt in former East Germany. Recognized for her artistic skills from an early age, she was selected to be a student at the prestigious school of the Meissen Porcelain Factory. When the wall between East and West was razed in 1989, Thomsen weathered the time of ideological and economic collapse through personal reinvention. She enjoyed the freedom of travel for the first time, and her world was liberated by the discovery of abstract art, which was completely suppressed in East Germany as a capitalist construct. Thomsen enrolled and received BA and MFA degrees in the University of Art and Design in Offenbach, Germany, where her thesis marked the beginning of her investigation of abstract Stripes and led to her Role Models series, a realistic and robust examination of the East German political leaders. In 2006 she moved with her husband and three children from the Frankfurt area to New York.

Eric Banks, Director of the New York Institute for the Humanities, is a writer and editor based in New York. A former senior editor of Artforum, Banks was editor in chief of Bookforum from 2003–2008. From 2011 to 2013, he served as president of the National Book Critics Circle. Banks’s writing has appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times Book Review, the London Review of Books, Aperture, Town and Country, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. He has contributed essays to monographs on a number of artists, including Franz West, Christopher Wool, and Grant Wood, and is the consulting editor of the Robert Rauschenberg Catalogue Raisonné.

This talk is organized in collaboration of 1014, Deutsches Haus at NYU and the German Consulate General New York.

Location & Time

Thursday, April 7, 2022
6:00 PM 7:30 PM EST

1014 5th Avenue New York, NY

Please register here.

Top of page