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Jadwiga Kamola publishes dissertation

13. Dez. 2018

Dr. Jadwiga Kamola, associate member of the HCTS, published her dissertation „Tumor im Blick“ with Böhlau Verlag. Her study examines a comprehensive image collection and establishes the phenomenon of the patient's portrait within the wider genre of the medical portrait. Kamola conducted the research for her dissertation within the professorship of Global Art History.

The volume investigates a series of Chinese tumor patients shown in the format of the classical portrait, and locates them within a global spectrum of medical oil portraits and medical atlases. The overall aim of Dr. Kamola's research was to arrive at a draft of a Negative Aesthetics understood as a visual strategy and a creative process.

Her dissertation focuses a vast corpus of canvases, gouaches and watercolors of tumor patients from the years 1835-1850, drawn and painted by the Cantonese artist Lam Qua and his workshop. Against previous positions of the genre in the context of the freak shows, the author shows that these extraordinary portraits were not only a global genre, but were also the result of a historical consequence. In a clinical context, these portraits of patients corresponded with portrait painting, while at the same time embracing the popular discipline of physiognomics. Thus, the paintings had to be "read" semiotically by the viewer.

Dr. Jadwiga Kamola studied History of Art and English at the universities in Freiburg, Dublin and Berlin and received her M.A. in History of Art at the Freie Universität in 2010. Her scholarly interests range from images of illness, materiality (paint and flesh), the interface of art and medicine, the relationship between painting and photography, seeing and knowing. These interest culminated in her PhD project "Lam Qua's Portraits of Patients. Approaches towards a Global Negative Aesthetics in the Nineteenth Century," which she conducted at the Cluster „Asia and Europe.


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