Dr. H.F. (Helen) Westgeest

Position:
  • Lecturer
Expertise:
  • Art History
  • Modern and contemporary art
  • Theories of photography


Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 2744
E-Mail: h.f.westgeest@hum.leidenuniv.nl
Faculty / Department: Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen, Centre for the Arts in Society, KG Moderne beeldende kunst
Office Address: Johan Huizingagebouw
Doelensteeg 16
2311 VL Leiden
Room number 2.15a
Personal Homepage: hum.leiden.edu/​lucas/​members-modern-contemporary/​westgeesthf.html


Fields of interest

The role of the medium in meaning production in visual arts
Contemporary art
Theory of photography
Theory of video art
Interactions in art between East and West

Research

Dr. Helen Westgeest's PhD research explored the interest of several American, French, German and Japanese artists in Zen Buddhism in the 1950s, in which early experiments in performance art played an important role. Subsequently, the focus of her research gradually shifted to intercultural research of contemporary art and theory of photography/video art. Her current research zooms in on the role and nature of photography and video in mixed media works of art, while she also engages in comparative research into media in contemporary art. Her next book will look at theories of video art and is due to be published in 2014. In various respects, this book will be a sequel to Photography Theory in Historical Perspective, (2011, co-authored by Hilde Van Gelder).
She is involved in several international research projects and participates in a FP7 European research project application.

Curriculum Vitae

Helen Westgeest (Otahuhu/ New Zealand 1958) studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague (division Painting) and Leiden University (Art History). In 1996 she obtained her PhD degree, with a dissertation on Zen in the Fifties. Interaction in Art between East and West. Since 2000 she has been working as an assistant professor of modern and contemporary art history and theory of photography at Leiden University. She worked as a lecturer in art techniques at the Vrije University (VU) in Amsterdam from 1995-2006, and as a lecturer in Cultural Studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Utrecht from 2002-2004. In January 2007 she won the Teacher of the Year Award from Leiden University.
As a guest curator, she curated exhibitions in several museums in the Netherlands and Germany.
In 1994 she obtained a Research Fellowship from the Canon Foundation for a research project of one year in Tokyo, New York, Paris and Munich. She is currently chair of the Alumni Fellows of the Canon Foundation. In 2007 she was convenor of the session ‘Photography between Poetics and Politics’ at the Contestations conference of the AAH (Association of Art Historians) in Belfast and co-editor of its proceedings. She is currently involved in several international research projects. In September 2012 she will supervise a workshop about theory of photography for students, scholars and curators in Beijing. In 2012 (January-December) she serves as a member of one of the committees of the Dutch Raad voor Cultuur (Cultural Council).

Key publications

- Video Art Theory: A Comparative Approach, Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, to be published in 2014 [book].

- Photography Theory in Historical Perspective: Case Studies from Contemporary Art, Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, 2011 [book, co-author H. Van Gelder]


- Kunsttechnieken in historisch perspectief, Turnhout: Brepols, 2011 [co-edited book].


- Making Research Visible to the World, Amstelveen: Canon Foundation in Europe, 2010 [co-edited book].


- Take Place. Photography and Place from Multiple Perspectives, Amsterdam: Valiz, 2009 [edited book].


- Photography between Poetry and Politics, Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2008 [edited book, co-editor H. Van Gelder].


- Zen in the Fifties. Interaction in Art between East and West (diss. Leiden University), Zwolle: Waanders, 1996 [book].


Articles/chapters in edited books/book reviews

- ‘Book review: Jae Emerling. Photography: History and Theory. London: Routledge, 2012; Kathrin Yacavone. Benjamin, Barthes and the Singularity of Photography. London: Continuum, 2012’, caa-reviews (2012) [e-magazine].
- ‘Fotografische historische ervaringen. Het dilemma van het fotograferen van geschiedenis’, Extra XL. FoMu Magazine (2012) 10, pp. 72-79.
- ‘Herhalingstrategieën in het fotografisch werk van Idris Khan’, in: J. Houppermans, et al. (eds.), Déjà Vu. Herhaling in culturen wereldwijd, Leiden: Leiden University Press, 2011, pp. 181-204.
- ‘Bridging Distances Across Time and Place in Photography’, in: B. Vandermeulen, D. Veys (eds.), Imaging History.Photography after the Fact, Brussel: ASA Publishers, 2011, pp.13-25.
- ‘Het materiaal van de installatiekunst’, in: H. Westgeest, et al (eds.), Kunsttechnieken in historisch perspectief, Turnhout: Brepols, 2011, pp. 260-267.
- ‘Visualizing Research and Visual Communication of Research’, in: H. Westgeest (ed.), Making Research Visible to the World, Amstelveen: Canon Foundation in Europe, 2010, pp. 9-14.
- ‘No Meaning, No Composition, No Colour. From Zero to Gutai’, in: T. Visser (ed.), Gutai. Painting with Time and Space, Cinisello Balsamo: Silvana Editoriale, 2010, pp. 121-141.
- ‘Photography and Painting in Multi-Mediating Pictures’, Visual Studies Journal, Routledge, 24 (Sept. 2009) 2, pp. 122-131 [co-author H. Van Gelder].
- ‘The Concept of Place in Photography in Multimedia Artworks’, in: H. Westgeest (ed.), Take Place. Photography and Place from Multiple Perspectives, Amsterdam: Valiz, 2009, pp. 97-130.
- ‘The Mutability of Photography in Multi-Media Artworks’, in:, H. Van Gelder, H. Westgeest (eds), Photography between Poetry and Politics, Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2008, pp.3-16.
- ‘Complexe relaties tussen lelijk en mooi in moderne en hedendaagse kunst’, Frons, 28 (2008) 3, pp. 34-39.
- ‘Photographs as Layered Paintings and Places Fraught with Significance’, in: G. Dragt, Walls of India, Zwolle: d’jonge Hond, 2008, pp. 4-8.
- ‘The Challenge of Interaction between Photography Practice and Theory’, in: U. Westphal, K. Lehtonen (eds), Work.Comments on Commissions [Vol. 6], Jyväskylä/Essen: Folkwang Museum, 2007, pp. 8-12.
- ‘Mathieu’s tegenstrijdigheden in een foto samengevat’, in: J. Pronk, T. de Ruiter (eds), Foto Voorkeuren, Amsterdam: Voetnoot, 2007, pp. 192-196.
- ‘From Transparent to Hypermedial and Homotopias to Heterotopias’, HTV (Photography), (2007) 69, pp. 8-9.
- ‘The Invisibility of Work. Redefining the Place of Work through Photography, in: B. Vroege (ed.), Work [Part 4], Rotterdam: Veenman Publishers, 2007, pp. 150-159.
- ‘Redefining the Place of Work in Photography and Society’, in: K. Lehtonen (ed.), Shifts.Archives in Dialogue and New Identities in Documentarism, Sunderland, 2006, pp. 122-124.
- ‘De dubbelrollen van de ‘tekening’ in Paolini’s Nesso’, Kunstlicht, 27 (2006) 2/3, pp. 26-29.
- 'Beeldvorming van de Oriënt in werken van Buthe en Houshiary', in: J. Schaeps (ed.), Oostersche Weelde, Leiden, 2005, pp. 97-112.
- ‘Zwischen Leben und Tod. Ein interkulturelles Gespräch mit Fotografien von Ryuji Miyamoto über Vergänglichkeit’, in: C. Volkenandt (ed.), Kunstgeschichte und Weltgegenwartskunst, Berlin: Reimer, 2004, pp.165-198.
- ‘Identity and Materiality’, in: H. Westgeest (ed.), The Reflexive Zone, Utrecht: HKU, 2004, pp. 188-201.
- ‘Inleiding’, tent.cat. Drijfveren. Armando en de Informelen, Amersfoort: Armando Museum, 2003, pp. 5-12.
- ‘Tussen leven en dood: persoonlijke, cultuurgebonden of universele visies in de hedendaagse kunst?’, Kunstlicht, 23 (2003) 3, pp. 7-12.
- ‘Energie als Lebensauffassung: Informelle Verbindungen des modernen Westens zu Ostasien’, in: H. Althöfer (ed.), Informel.Begegnung und Wandel, Dortmund: Museum am Ostwall, 2002, pp. 275-305.
- ‘Growth in the History of Modern Art’, in: Growth and Inspiration, Leiden, 2001.
- 'De eenheid van penseeltekeningen, Kyudo en Haiku, en het leven zelf', in: exhib. cat. Kees Buurman, Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden, 2000, pp. 25-40.
- 'Zen und Nicht-Zen', in: H.G. Golinski (ed.), Zen und die westliche Kunst,  Cologne, 2000, pp. 62-110.
- 'Die Anziehungskraft des Fernen Ostens auf westliche Künstler', in: exhib.cat. Kunstwelten im Dialog, Museum Ludwig, Cologne: Dumont, 1999, pp. 274-280.
- Willi Baumeister en het Onbekende in de kunst, Amstelveen: Cobra museum, 1999.
- Tajiri. Silent Dynamism and Oneness in Multiformity, Zwolle: Waanders, 1997.
- ‘Zelfexpressie in Zen. De eenwording van bedachtzaamheid en impulsiviteit’, Kunstlicht, 17 (1996) 2, pp. 2-7.

Last Modified: 10-12-2015