Dr. Isolde Vanhee

  • Research unit:
  • Research topics:
    cinema and the visual arts, painting, experimental film,
    slow cinema, essay film, artistic authorship, genre,
    the ordinary, narrative, myth, fiction, writing, script
    criticism, ethics / aesthetics, word / image, imagination / reflection

Isolde Vanhee (°1976) studied Art History and obtained a PhD in Political and Social Sciences. She teaches on fine art, film and visual culture at LUCA School of Arts. She is Chair of Art Cinema OFFoff, senior writer of Rekto:Verso and member of the scientific board of Photogénie and Passage. From 2001 to 2005, she was a staff member of the Museum of Contemporary Art (SMAK) in Ghent. As writer and researcher, she focuses on artists and filmmakers who harbor a certain contrariness, defiance, or radicality in their stubborn desire to explore new visual languages, lovingly resist ingrained conceptions, give shape to what amazes and excites them, or even attempt to imagine and portray the impossible. These dreams of the impossible – in making and experiencing art – are related to questions on representation, (auto)fiction, inspiration, chance, boredom, love, family, friendship, the everyday, and also and especially the tension between more aesthetic or ethical perspectives on artistry, authorship and imagination. Whether engaging with essay films, gangster melodramas or modernist and contemporary paintings, she pays special attention to the self-awareness of cinema and painting as singular modes of expression, often by exploring their pictorial, narrative and tactile exchanges with other media such as architecture, sculpture, performance and literature. Finally, she has a strong interest in the passages between word and image, reading and looking, writing and imagining. This focus within her research has emerged from her own writing practice, but also through her collaborations with filmmakers and artists who develop text as an alternative trajectory next to or within their visual work.