Idolatry and Iconoclasm after Diana

Diana Spencer became a secular icon almost as soon as she entered the public consciousness in the early 1980s. Since then she has meant different things to different people, and ten years after her death, her image continues to represent everything from the power of personal compassion over the constraints of tradition to the triumph of emotionalism and the shallowness of celebrity culture. Sarah Strang’s 'Acquisition' explores the process through which an individual's image is co-opted, and manipulated both intentionally and unintentionally. In particular, the work draws attention to the layers of mediation, involving various institutional and personal responses, through which icons are established, judged, and endorsed, disavowed or reinterpreted by the public, at home and abroad. This will be the focus of the talk.

Andrew Calcutt, lecturer in journalism, UEL; author of Brit.Cult: An A-Z of British Pop Culture
Sarah Churchwell, senior lecturer in American literature and culture, University of East Anglia; author, The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe
Chaired by Dolan Cummings, Institute of Ideas

Accompanying Exhibition:
Sarah Strang, Acquisition

Sarah Strang's practice is focused on the present, investigating the world we live in and the power structures and society we have created for ourselves. In the past two years this has encompassed work that has explored the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, the gold market in Dubai, migrant workers both in London and abroad, and, in Acquisition, the legacy and meaning of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Supported by Simmons & Simmons and the Lodeveans Collection.
Idolatry and Iconoclasm after Diana

Event Title: Idolatry and Iconoclasm after Diana
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