Arese Visconti Public Lecture
On the 29th of January, Francesco Arese Visconti, Head of the Media Communications department and Photography Program Coordinator at Webster University Geneva, gave a public talk as part of the Creativity and Innovation Lecture Series organized by the Webster Center of Creativity and Innovation (WCCI). His lecture, titled “Sua Cuique Persona: ‘Face as Mask’ in Photographic Portraits of Italians in 21st century Switzerland”, explored the complex nature and place of the face in photographic portraits. Drawing on historical analogies and concepts from a variety of disciplines – visual art, psychology, sociology, psychoanalysts, philosophy, and literature – Francesco analyzed the ways in which creativity contributes to photography. Using the notion of face as mask, his presentation outlined creative ways of displaying identity, in particular Italian cultural identity, in 21st century Switzerland. Photographic portraits thus become an excellent case study for unpacking complex issues related to the role of images in our understanding of the self, the influence of history and culture, and the ways in which creativity is intertwined with identity.