We are currently accepting PhD applications in this area. Find out more about staff's research interests here.

Daegyeom Heo

Thesis Topic: Intertextual Study as Visual Representation of Historical Memory

Supervisor: Alan Marcus

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.): M.F.A THE SCHOOL OF THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on? I am studying use of Virtual Reality as a means of intertextual visual representation of historical space. Currently, I am conducting the field research on the subject of Cold War trauma in Southeast Asia.

Eimear Kinsella

Thesis Topic:  A semiotic approach to the contemporary display of bio-art to contribute to the practical and theoretical discourse of the art form within the gallery space

Supervisor: Dr. Silvia Casini

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.): BDes Textile Design (1.1)

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on? I am currently looking at how living and semi-living artwork can best be communicated to the public. I am taking a semiotic approach to the research in order to avail of what we know as being familiar and comfortable (signs, symbols, connotations) in order to efficiently communicate the unknown and uncomfortable. My interests in the semiotics of bio-art come from my own experience in working as an artist faced with display challenges and tackling the discourse of where bio-art situates itself between nature and culture.

What do you do outside of academia (hobbies, personal interests, etc.)? Outside of any academic studies, I love to swim, hike, and paint and drink coffee. I swim nearly every single day for the exercise and the headspace it offers me. I have been able to hold a paintbrush for as long as I have held a pencil. I have painted as a commissioned artist since I was 14 years old, but have always seen it as more of a hobby. Being completely honest, I am at my happiest when I am painting a portrait for hours on end. Hiking is a hobby that has enriched my experiences in many countries and allows me to work for views and adventures. I have climbed many big mountains in Canada and Central America and I am looking forward to tackling some of Scotland’s greatest heights.

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen? I chose to study in Aberdeen as it allowed me to base myself in a University that is quite diverse. As my study involves merging fine arts and curatorship with Science and Biology, It was important to locate myself where the crossover would be possible. Aberdeen also provided me with a fantastic supervisor that I could see as being very helpful in my research.  Being in the UK and Europe again was also important to me so I could access many relevant galleries and professionals working in the area.

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen? I enjoy how small the city is and how easy it is to walk anywhere within 30 minutes. It is also close to the ocean and the mountains so it is easy to escape to the countryside for a day or two. There is plenty of opportunity to get involved with other artists and with upcoming festivals. There are many libraries and galleries to explore and some lovely cafes to go and read a book or just watch the world go by.

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future? My reason for moving to Aberdeen was for the University and my research. I think that having that focus and being here will allow me to achieve that to the best of my ability an in doing so strengthen my work for the future. My research is niche and I will have to learn how to communicate that work effectively to a public that is very new to this type of artwork and research. Aberdeen will be my first challenge in learning and trialling effective bio-art communication with the public.

 

Maria Lanko

Thesis Topic: Participatory Art in Eastern Europe since the 1960s

Supervisor: Dr. Amy Bryzgel

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.): MA in Japanese Language and Literature from Kyiv National University

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on?

In my dissertation project I attempt at critical appraisal of the work of several groups and communities of amateur photographers consolidated around the Kharkiv photo club in the 1960s–1980s—“Vremya”, “GosProm”, “Fast Reaction Group”. In the course of almost 3 decades they participated in an ongoing critical discussion, mostly about the premises of contemporary photography as an art practice. This discussion was performed by the weekly conversations at the photo club, but also by photography making intervened with the actual shared living experiences. Ekaterina Degot insists that, “The body of work of Kharkiv photographers, who all knew each other and incessantly discussed their own work, is a dialogue in structure. While in contemporary art it is expected that an artist progresses in relation to his or her earlier work, the [Soviet] unofficial artists progressed in relation to the work of other authors[1]. In the three chapters of my dissertation I explore how their underground creative work empowered by a nonconformist lifestyle was transgressing the social and artistic confinements of the totalitarian Soviet state—in the domain of bodily practices, engagement with public space and production of alternative institutional systems.

What do you do outside of academia (hobbies, personal interests, etc.)?

My primary professional identity is curatorial practice in contemporary art. Since 2014 I have worked together with Lizaveta German as an independent curatorial collective. Together we launched openarchive.com.ua, an online platform that functions as an instrument of our research and an open database. We curated such exhibitions as “If only flies saw the show does it mean that it actually happened” (2014) at Another Vacant Space, Berlin, “Power Verticals Plywood Colonnades” (2014) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Kyiv, “Pavshyno Kunstverein” (2015) at Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, “Art Of the Ukrainian Sixties” (2016) at the National Art Museum of Ukraine, Kyiv and “Today that Never Happened” (2017) at Mystetsky Arsenal, Kyiv among others.  

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen?

Because of Dr. Amy Bryzgel and her academic interest in contemporary art of Easter Europe.

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen?

Being able to go hiking in the Highlands every other weekend.

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future?

I will definitely be more resistant to cold, wind and solitude.

 

[1] Екатерина Деготь, Харьковская фотография. Производство свободного времени, 5.6, №7, май 2013

Barbara B. Leon

Visiting PhD Student from the University of Oviedo

Thesis Topic: Study of the city through photography: from Avant-Garde to Postmodernity

Supervisor: Dr Amy Bryzgel

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.): BA MA (hons) History of Art (University of Oviedo)

MA (hons) Methods and Techniques in Humanities. Mayor in History of Art (UNED, Madrid)

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on? I am focused on the aesthetic and theoretical relationship between Surrealism and American postmodernism. My main research interests are the creation of postmodern cities and their link with Visual Culture and the philosophy of perception.

What do you do outside of academia (hobbies, personal interests, etc.)? I love live concerts and going to concerts is my big passion. Also travelling and visiting new cities and their culture are one of the things I most enjoy.

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen? Aberdeen is a very interesting city with a top university.

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen? The university itself.

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future? Living and studying abroad is one of the best things I’ve ever done, and choosing Aberdeen with its multicultural background and people is definitely an starting point not only in my career but in my life.

What does Aberdeen bring to your research? Being a PhD Visiting Student in Aberdeen my time here is precious. I am now in the final stage of my dissertation and completing my PhD with an international Degree in Aberdeen has brought me countless opportunities. I was given the opportunity of being a Teaching Assistant in the Film and Visual Culture Department. Because of that, I realised that I want my academic career not to be only focused on research but also in teaching.

Alison Metoudi

Thesis Topic: Wild Places: Screenwriting Creative Practice.

Supervisors: Professor Ali Lumsden, Professor Alan Marcus.

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.): BA (hons) Theatre, BDes (hons) Production Design Film, Television and Theatre and MA Film and Visual Studies.

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on? My PhD project concerns the interconnections between humans and non-humans including nature and the technology of the North Sea off Scotland, with an emphasis on the offshore oil industry and marine animals.

What do you do outside of academia (hobbies, personal interests, etc.)? Art, photography and keep fit.

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen? Aberdeen is a great location providing easy access to transport links and is within reach to other destinations related to my research topic.

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen? Reconnecting to Scottish cultural roots is exciting as is getting to know more about the North to North East of Scotland, wild life, the sea, islands, marine animals, industry and meeting people.

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future? My research and creative practice combined link a number of areas within Physical Sciences, literature, writing and creative media of which I am becoming conversant. I hope that this collaborative approach to research and creative practice will help to prepare me for other areas of cross-disciplinary work and travel, as there is opportunity in future.

Camilla Salvaneschi

Thesis Topic: Magazines and Biennials: from the Ephemeral to the Episodic

Supervisor(s): Dr. Amy Bryzgel, Dr. Silvia Casini

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.): IBA in History and Conservation of the Artistic and Cultural Heritage from the University of Padova. MA degree in Design and Production of Visual Arts from the Iuav University of Venice.

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on? I am currently working on a thesis about the art magazines published by periodical exhibitions such as Documenta, Manifesta, and the Venice Biennale, and their role in the defining discourses around contemporary art and contemporaneity. Further research interests include the evolution of contemporary art magazines, as well as the role of magazines and criticism within the art system.

What do you do outside of academia (hobbies, personal interests, etc.)? I usually go to art exhibitions, cinema, theatre, and opera. I like travelling, hiking, and playing tennis.

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen? I chose to study in Aberdeen for the excellency of the University and of the Film and Visual Culture Department.

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen? The University, and being part of a vibrant and international postgraduate community, with a wide array of seminars and courses organized for PhD candidates to further develop their skills as researchers and the impact of their projects.

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future? The experience in Aberdeen is essential in preparing me to pursue a career in academia, providing me with opportunities to enhance my research project, and of being teaching assistant.

Denisa Tomkova

Thesis Topic: Biopolitical Art as Art of Participation in Post-Communist Central-Eastern Europe

Supervisors: Dr Amy Bryzgel (Visual Culture), Dr Jo Vergunst (Anthropology)

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.):

 

BA: History of Art at the Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia; Certificate in Higher Education at the University of Aberdeen; University of Illinois, USA (non-degree, exchange from Aberdeen University); MSc: Modern and Contemporary Art: History, Curating and Criticism at The University of Edinburgh

 

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on?

My research interests include topics such as: contemporary art, participation, community, biopolitics, national identity, and post-communism. Since 2015, I have been a member of the international research project ‘Comparing WE’s. Cosmopolitanism. Emancipation. Postcolianity’ based at the University of Lisbon.

I am currently researching socially-engaged art practices in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland. I introduce the term Biopolitical art for the socially-engaged art practices emerging in the new millennium after the integration of the CEE into the European Union. Biopolitical art, as the term, not only expresses their formal character of direct participation, engagement with community through dialogue, aim for social change and discourse; but this term also reveals the character and socio-political context these works are created in.

Publications:

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen? I decided to choose Aberdeen because of the great funded PhD opportunity funded by The Elphinstone Scholarship. I responded to the PhD scholarship call to examine the phenomenon of participatory and socially engaged art in the specific socio-political context of Eastern Europe since the 1960s, supervised by Dr Amy Bryzgel.

Jack Williams

Thesis Topic: John Grierson and Documentary Film (Written and Practical Project)

Supervisors: Prof. Alan Marcus, Prof. Cairns Craig

Educational background (BA, MA, etc.): MA Film & Visual Culture – University of Aberdeen

What are your research interests/what are you currently working on?

I am currently researching the relationship between John Grierson’s film-making methodology next to his background in moral philosophy as a student at the University of Glasgow. This is focusing on Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason and involves a review of phenomenology and aesthetics. Alongside this I am preparing for my second practical project involving making a film about the tourist industry around steam railways.

What do you do outside of academia (hobbies, personal interests, etc.)?

I enjoy going to the cinema and watching films with friends (an exercise in making your academic interests a hobby I suppose). I also enjoy writing and recording music.

Why did you choose to study in Aberdeen?

After finishing my undergraduate degree my dissertation supervisor Alan Marcus suggested I go straight into doctoral study and offered me a programme that would allow me to apply for a fee-waiver. I decided to continue my studies at the University as I knew many of the members of staff here and also saw it as a great opportunity to finish my PhD very early on in my prospective career in academia.

What is your favourite part of studying and living in Aberdeen?

The Language and Literature school of the University is filled with academics who are incredibly intelligent, friendly and open to discussion, making Aberdeen an excellent environment for study. Also it has allowed me to stay in close contact with my peers who also studied at the University for their Undergraduate Degrees and now live in Aberdeen.

How do you think your experience in Aberdeen will prepare you for the future?

By being given the opportunity to go straight into doctoral study, I have been allowed to improve my presentation and teaching skills in a subject I love very dearly. My experience in Aberdeen is not one without difficulty or struggle, but I have found that I have been very capable at dealing with challenges that I would not have thought I could handle. I have a renewed confidence in my abilities as a writer and teacher and hope to continue to pursue a career that allows me to embrace these skills.