Jo Ganter

Jo Ganter
The University of Edinburgh

Illustrated Talk

Betwixt & Between
A conversation between Jo Ganter and Ruth Pelzer-MontadaHow useful is the concept of ‘intermediality’ in the context of prints and printmaking.

Whether it’s Christiane Baumgartner’s video and wood cut combinations or Regina Silveira’s wall-paper like vinyl print installations covering whole buildings or gallery spaces, the crossing of formerly well-established media boundaries is a common feature of most contemporary art, including print.

Inspired by a dialogue we had in between panels and papers at IMPACT 2011 in Melbourne we propose to hold a conversation about the topic of such media crossings in print. Two conditions made our discussion in Melbourne so interesting: the conference provided the intellectual frame-work to our exchange and yet our conversation was an informal one, happening in the corridor between formal panel discussions. A third factor which contributed to the sense of discovery and insights derived from our respective specialisms and professional context: Jo, with a background in art history and theory, is firmly based in the studio, both as an educator and artist, and Ruth, while being a practising artist, is predominantly teaching Visual Culture to art students and undertaking critical/theoretical writing.

It is therefore from our overlapping, yet divergent interests and experiences, that we wish to approach the topic. What are the concrete intermedial practices in printmaking for which media borders or specificities are indeed important? How does intermediality differ from multi-media practice? What are the consequences of intermedial practices for the teaching and practising of printmaking?

We plan to reference recent exhibitions of print in Scotland that are exemplary of our ideas by running a Powerpoint presentation as a backdrop to our discussion.

We will endeavour to maintain the genuine conversational nature of our exchange, revising our subject rather than rehearsing a specific performance, and hope that this mode of presentation will lead to a wider debate with our audience at Impact 8.

Illustrated Talk


A series of images that, through repetition, produce a visual dialogue around their similarities and differences.  They present photographs of models of human forms made in my studio, silhouetted behind paper screens that almost fill the picture plane. They are printed using a variety of digital and hand-printed, intaglio techniques (inkjet, etching, photopolymer, photo-etching, photograph) that exploit subtle differences in quality of surface central to printmaking’s multi-media aesthetic.  By re-presenting images in the series in different media, in positive and negative formats, on different scales, they create a dialogue between materials, between old and new media, between reality and fiction, between print and photography.  {My investigation of dialogues between media links with the proposal I have put forward with Ruth Pelzer to give an illustrated talk/conversation about intermediality in print.}

The series is intended to be suggestive and meditative, rather than descriptive and didactic. I represent the human form in ways that are timeless, genderless and ultimately fictional.  I use the camera for its ability to trace what is in front of the lens, but I make the subject it records so that any notion of reality is ambiguous.  These are two dimensional works.  The paper screens are parallel to the picture plane and close to it.  The figures move ‘behind’ these surfaces and suggest a depth beyond.

“…our ways of conceiving of photography have not yet succeeded in breaking clear of the gravitational field of nineteenth-century thinking: thinking dominated by a metaphor of depth, in which the surface of the photograph is viewed as the projection of something which lies ‘behind’ or ‘beyond’ the surface; in which the frame of the photograph is seen as marking the place of entry to something more profound – reality itself, the ‘expression’ of the artist, or both…”    Victor Burgin

Burgin’s comment on our attitude to photography continues to be relevant and informs my work.