Jennifer Doyle: On Difficulty

In his 1978 essay “On Difficulty,” the literary critic George Steiner proposed four categories of difficulty as encountered in poetry. In this lecture, Jennifer Doyle presents her approach to difficulty as encountered in visual and performance art. Taking her cue from artist Patty Chang’s work, which confronts quite heavy, difficult subject matter, Doyle invites the audience to discuss the place of difficulty in the relationship between form and content; between seeing and feeling.


This lecture is held in conjunction with Patty Chang: The Wandering Lake, 2009-2017 ICA LA’s East Gallery.


Jennifer Doyle is a queer theorist and performance studies scholar. She is the author of Hold It Against Me: Difficulty and Emotion in Contemporary Art, Campus Sex/Campus Security, and Sex Objects: Art and the Dialectics of Desire. She curated The Tip of Her Tongue for The Broad; Nao Bustamante: Soldadera for the Vincent Price Art Museum; and I Feel Different for Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE). She is Board of Directors member at Human Resources and a Professor of English at UC Riverside.

Start Date

May 22, 2019

End Date

May 22, 2019


07:00 PM - 09:00 PM


1717 E. 7th Street

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