top of page

Gesture: a three-day investigation

Visual arts - Music - Dance - Literature - Film

25 - 27 January 2024
St John's College, Oxford



This conference, held in January 2024, took the term ‘gesture’ to task – asking what it means across art forms to make, trace, think, or perform gestures. Notions of the ‘gestural’ are at the heart of expression, but the assumptions on which the agency of the gesture is based are often overlooked. Arguably, the gesture or gestural sits at a strange intersection between the material and immaterial. As such, it is open to historical, philosophical, aesthetic, affective, and descriptive interrogation. The conference focused on work that deliberately dealt across aesthetic and material forms, unpacking and investigating the contingencies and commitments of gesture.

The programme included art historians, art practitioners, musicologists, musicians and literary scholars.

This conference ran in conjunction with an exhibition of work by Mark Rowan-Hull, at St John’s College, Oxford, which featured a live performance by the artist, uploaded here.

The conference was convened by Dr Jennifer Johnson, Mark Rowan-Hull, Dr Rachel Coombes & Dr Tim Coombes.

An edited volume arising from the conference is in the works. Do get in touch if you have any questions or ideas:

bottom of page