Date: Thursday, May 29, 2008
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Getty Center, Harold M. Williams Auditorium
Admission: Free; reservations required.
Is the face truly a window onto the soul? Can we change ourselves by changing the appearance of our faces? Does our modern obsession with faces—from Botox to face transplants—have historical precedents?
Come learn about these topics from one of the world's authorities on identity, stereotyping, and the history of cosmetic surgery, Sander Gilman. Author of Making the Body Beautiful: A Cultural History of Aesthetic Surgery, Gilman traces our fascination with faces today back to the early 20th century, when German photographer August Sander set out to chronicle and catalogue the soul of his nation by taking pictures of social types and collecting these pictures into a collective portrait, which is the subject of the current exhibition August Sander: People of the Twentieth Century.
Sander's photographs were part of an era that saw the rise of Expressionist and Neo-Realist art as well as the "nose job"—all trends that forced viewers to imagine faces in new ways. Faces and the meanings associated with them became a measure of a world torn between authentic bodies and souls and those seen as ugly, malleable, or even evil.
About Sander Gilman
Sander L. Gilman is a distinguished professor of the Liberal Arts and Sciences at Emory University, where he directs the Program in Psychoanalysis, as well as the Health Sciences Humanities Initiative. A cultural and literary historian, he is the author or editor of over 70 books. His Oxford lectures, Multiculturalism and the Jews, appeared in 2006; his most recent edited volume, Race and Contemporary Medicine: Biological Facts and Fictions, appeared in 2007. He is the author of the basic study of the visual stereotyping of the mentally ill, Seeing the Insane, as well as the pioneering study Jewish Self-Hatred: Anti-Semitism and the Hidden Language of the Jews.
How to Get Here
The Getty Center is located at 1200 Getty Center Drive in Los Angeles, California, approximately 12 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. See Hours, Directions, Parking for maps and driving directions.