Tina Kinsella

Welcome! On this site you will find some writing which relates to my current research and teaching interests. Thank you for visiting and please feel free to browse.

There are three main strands to my current research interests –

  • Expanding understanding of the relationship between ontology and aesthetics
  • Exploring how art facilitates modes for the passage of “unsymbolised experience” into symbolisation and language
  • Investigating how the affective dimension of artworks may produce political effects and relational subjectivity

and my lecturing interests –

  • The representation of gender, embodiment and identity in contemporary art and visual culture
  • The intersection of aesthetics, ethics, politics and “affect” in contemporary artistic practice
  • The role/relevance of theory to art practice and art writing
Lecturer in Critical and Contextual Studies (Art) at the Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dublin, Research Fellow at the Centre for Gender and Women’s Studies, Trinity College and Fellow at the Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media

My research is interdisciplinary, drawing on a range of contemporary theory to engage with contemporary artistic practices. Such engagement is undertaken by way of self-directed research as well as sustained collaborative projects with art practitioners such as Aideen Barry, Sarah Browne, Jesse Jones, Alice Maher, Dennis McNulty and the artist/theorist Bracha L. Ettinger. Emphasising two central research questions, I enquire: “what kind of thinking is art practice?” and “what does artistic practice help us to think about?” Probing the performative, affective and dynamic relationship between artistic process, practice, theory and art writing, I mobilise modes of written and verbal response that expand upon descriptive and interpretative analysis of art practice to recuperate what I term the “aesthetic unconscious of the artwork”. Considering art as a “mode of aesthetic thinking” that solicits the viewer beyond any given referential and experiential field anchored in a specific time, space or politics of representation, I explore art writing as “generative feminine mythopoiesis” that is not harnessed to the concerns of canonical art history, but rather can weave new myths from and through art, for our time.  My interrogation of the affective and performative dimensions of art has led me to develop two concepts that I entitle the “Affectosphere” and “Affectivism”. The “Affectosphere” addresses the ways in which affects enlivened and activated by our experiential and corporeal encounter with art can produce effects for our political and social imaginaries and realities.  “Affectivism” relates to the crossing over between artistic production as a mode of “aesthetic thinking” and activism as “political resistance” activated by affective modes of knowing and experience.

Forthcoming and recent publications include:

‘A Cord that is Never Done Away With: An Aesthetic Ontology of the Pre-Birth Scene with Francesca Woodman and Bracha L. Ettinger’ in Elena Marchevska and Valerie Walkerdine (eds.) Maternal Structures in Art: Intergenerational Discussions on Motherhood and Creative Work. Oxford: Routledge, 2018

‘The Artistic Practice of Micol Hebron: Provoking a Performative Heuristics of the Maternal Body’ in Rachel Epp Buller and Charles Reeved (eds.) Inappropriate Bodies: Art, Design and Maternity. Ontario: Demeter Press, 2018

‘Conversation ― Tina Kinsella and Lisa Haller Baggessen’ in Natalie Loveless and Sheena Wilson (eds.) Mapping the Maternal [Provisional Title]. Ontario: Demeter Press, 2018

‘Aesthetics in The Touching Contract: Memory, Exposure and Transformation’ [co-authored with Máiréad Enright] in ‘Materialsing Legal Aesthetics’, Special Edition of Law, Culture and the Humanities Journal, SAGE, 2018

‘Representing Desire? Reconsidering Female Sexuality and Eroticism in Umbilical’, Performance Ireland Journal, Special Issue: ‘Gender, Sexuality and the City’, Carysfort Press, 2018

Corporeal Matters: Tina Kinsella Interviews Alice Maher about her Touring Exhibition ‘Vox Materia’’ in Visual Artists Newsletter, May/June Issue, 2018

‘Queering and Querying the Virgin: Sacred Iconography and Profane Iconoclasticism in the Art of Frida Kahlo’, Esthesis, 2018

‘Living Theatre, Living Music’, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian’s Sunset Sunrise, Irish Museum of Modern Art, 2018

‘Accessing Sublimatory Routes in the Inner Space of Painting: Iconography, Figurality and Symbology in the Art of BRACHA’, UB Anderson Gallery, New York, 2018

‘THERE IS SO MUCH FOR YOU TO FEEL: Three Theses Towards a TTOP(ONT)OLOGY’, Denis McNulty’s TTOPOLOGY, VISUAL Carlow and Grazer Kunsverein, 2018

‘Precarious Subjectivity and Affective Performativity in the Academic Precariat’ in Irish Journal of Anthropology (20:1, 2017), 2017

O Children in God’s name slay not your mother!’ Tremble, Tremble / Tremate, Tremate, Mousse Publishing and Project Arts, for Jesse Jones and Ireland at Venice, 57th Venice Biennale, 2017

‘In nome degli Dei, non uccidete la madre, o figli’, Tremble, Tremble / Tremate, Tremate, Mousse Publishing and Project Arts, for Jesse Jones and Ireland at Venice, 57th Venice Biennale, 2017

Does Every Psychotic Have to Reinvent the Project of Modernity for Herself?’, As Above, So BelowPortals, Visions, Spirits, Mystics, Irish Museum of Modern Art, 2017

‘Liquidities―Transactive Border Spaces and Threshold Structures (Between the Harbour and the Sea) [co-authored with Silvia Loeffler], Performance Research Journal, Vol. 21, Issue 2: On/At Sea, 2016

‘MISERICORDIA― Making “Maternal Emotions” Manifest’ for Patricia Cronin’s Shrine for Girls, The LAB – Dublin City Arts Office

‘This is the fluid in which we meet … On Alice Maher’s Recent Drawings’, Alice Maher’s The Glorious Maids of the Charnel House, Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, 2016

‘Un(der)Cover on Sherkin Island’ [co-authored with Dr Lucy Dawe-Lane], for Uncover, Uillinn, West Cork Arts Centre, 2016

‘Will the Mistresses Tools Dismantle the Master’s House? Griselda Pollock on Creative Practices as Dissidence in the Feminist Century’, Commissioned blog post for the Irish Museum of Modern Art, 2016

‘Sundering the Spell of Visibility: Bracha L. Ettinger, Abstract-Becoming-Figural, Thought-Becoming-Form’ for Bracha L. Ettinger’s And My Heart Wound Space With-in Me at the 14th Istanbul Biennial in And My Heart Wound-Space, Griselda Pollock (ed.), Wild Pansy Press, 2015



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