Gesture and play – concepts and artistic (photographic) practices in urban space – Nélio Conceição

This session/open lecture will focus on a set of concepts and artistic practices which are close to, but not exhausted by, photography. They will allow us to outline a framework of philosophical references and case studies around the themes of gesture and play in urban space. The aim is, on the one hand, to analyse the pertinence of the question of human gesture, how it is worked on by photography and cinema and can thus reveal the complex relationship that we have with space and with others. The aim is, on the other hand, to examine the aesthetic relevance of the concept of play, how it relates to the topic of chance and how it can involve an exercise of political and/or imaginative freedom. Given the heterogeneous and often conflicting dimension of our cities, attending to these concepts and the way artistic practices invoke them is also a contemporary task.Nélio Conceição is a research fellow at the Nova Institute of Philosophy (IFILNOVA), School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa. He obtained his PhD in philosophy (aesthetics) from the Universidade NOVA de Lisboa in 2013, with a thesis on the relation between philosophy and photography. He was a visiting scholar at PUC – São Paulo (2015) and ZfL-Berlin (2016). His research focuses on aesthetics and theory of art, and he has been working on the philosophical and artistic ramifications of Walter Benjamin’s work, urban aesthetics, the concept of play, and aesthetic values, topics that are at the core of his latest publications. He is currently co-coordinating the FCT-funded project “Fragmentation and Reconfiguration: Experiencing the City between Art and Philosophy” and recently co-edited the volumes Aesthetics and Values: Contemporary Perspectives (Mimesis International, 2021) and Conceptual Figures of Fragmentation and Reconfiguration (IFILNOVA, 2021).