University of Reading cookie policy

We use cookies on to improve your experience, monitor site performance and tailor content to you

Read our cookie policy to find out how to manage your cookie settings

Professor Rachel Garfield

Professor Rachel Garfield, Head of Reading School of Art, Professor in Art
  • Head of Art (2017–)
  • Principle Investigator of Art and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)–funded project "The Legacies of Stephen Dwoskin" (2018–2021)
  • Studio Tutor
  • PhD supervision
  • University champion for joint and combined honours degrees
  • School Director of Postgraduate Studies (2012–2017)
  • Programme Director of Art and History of Art (2015–2017)
  • Visiting Research Fellow Newcastle University in Art and Geography departments (2013–2015).

Areas of interest

Lens based media, primarily video and experimental film. Formation of subjectivity in relation to race/class/gender. Performativity. Narrative. Positionality. Psychoanalysis. Politics. Excess.


I am an artist and my work is engaged in portraiture in film and video, the role of lived relations in the formation of subjectivity and at times, Jewish Identity. Although primarily my work would be regarded as video-based fine art shown in gallery contexts, the work has an ongoing relationship with the traditions and concerns of avant-garde documentary film.


In addition to my art practice, my published writing typically explores:

  • the positioning of artists
  • processes of exclusion
  • hierarchies of victim-hood
  • documentary practices and the politics of the subject
  • performativity
  • the encounter and the look in video
  • indeterminacy in the visual field often through the example of diasporic communities
  • landscape painting and the formation of Englishness in the twentieth century.


I exhibit nationally and internationally. I publish in academic journals, anthologies and artists' catalogues. I also present at conferences regularly. My work has been written about by Lisa E Bloom, Dave Burrows, Amelia Jones, Matthew Shaul, Pam Skelton, Pauline de Souza, Juliet Steyn.


I am on the editorial board for the peer review journal Jewish Film & New Media: An International Journal. In addition, I have peer reviewed for the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) fellowship, examined externally in the Fine Art Department at Brighton University for their periodic review; the MFA at Byam Shaw; the Digital Film and Screen Arts BA at Farnham, UCA.


I have been invited to teach and speak at the University of Wisconsin at Madison in the Fine Art Department; The University of Texas at Austin in the Art and Art History Department; University of California San Diego in the Communications Department as well as many universities in the UK.


I am the Principal investigator of a large Arts and Humanities Research Grant (AHRC) (2018–2021) entitled "The Legacies of Stephen Dwoskin" as PI with Co-Is Alison Butler (University of Reading) Jenny Chamarette (Queen Mary University) Yunhyong Kim (University of Glasgow) and partners the LUX and the BFI.


View Rachel's website.

Academic qualifications

  • 1982–1985 BA (Hons) North East London Polytechnic
  • 1996–1998 MA Fine Art Central St Martins
  • 1999–2003 PhD Fine Art Royal College of Art (Painting Dept).

Selected publications


  • "Armel Beaufils: Le Regard Des Femmes" Galerie du Presbytere, Saint-Briac Sur Mer, curated by Sharon Kivland and Catherine Elkar, 1 July to 3 September 2017
  • "Visions" at the Nunnery, screening of "Opening Up", 26 – 30 November, 2016
  • 100 on 100, Ben Uri: 100 years in London, Christie's South Kensington, 23 May –19 June 2016
  • "Unsensed" group show, 19 Sept–12 December Hatton Gallery, Newcastle with Yelena Popova, Matthew Flinton, Matthew Tickle, Aaron Guy, Autumn Richardson and Richard Skelton
  • "Out of Chaos"; Ben Uri: 100 years in London, Somerset House, East Wing, 2 July 13 December 2015
  • Salaam Shalom, Colston Hall, Central Bristol from 21– 24 May 2015
  • City Lit Screenings at the Conservatoire Blackheath Screening of "Centre Left Centre Right", with Emma Hart, Tom Dale, Heather Phillipson, Jenny Baines, Simon Faithfull, Ruth Maclennan., August 2014
  • Tegel: Flights of Fancy, book +DVD of art works, Artwords Books, 2014
  • Samvaad video screenings 4: CeC 8, 22 – 24 February 2013, Uttarakhand, India
  • Open City Documentary film festival, screening with Phil Collins, Larissa Sansour, Uriel Orlow
  • Beaconsfieldsolo show The Struggle, Part 1 - The Straggle (2012), also showing, Here, There, Then, Now Rachel Garfield and Stephen Dwoskin (2008), 19 April – 2 June 2012
  • Beaconsfield, London, group show Fraternise Salon, 2011
  • Tegel: flights of fancy, screening of "Over and Out" Rachel Garfield, Janet Hodgson, The Babylon Cinema, Berlin, organised by Jaspar Joseph-Lester, Suzanne Prinz and Julie Westerman,
  • Samvaad Video Screenings1 Shanti Road Studio Gallery, Bangalore; Shrishti School of Art, Design & Technology, Bangalore; Fine art Deptartement Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi; Foundation of Indian Contemporary Art (FICA) Reading Room, New Delhi, February 2011
  • Transmission Annual (eds) Michael Corris, Sharon Kivland, Jasper Joseph-Lester, The Strangers, Artwords Press, 2010, pp 162-173, 97819064410
  • Oranim University Gallery, soloexhibition, Haifa Israel, May 24  June 26 2010
  • Arizona State University Museum (group touring exhibition),I'm Keeping An Eye On You(Sept 19–Dec 16 2009,andCentre for Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, (group touring exhibition) (Dec 16 2009 – January 31, 2010), 2009
  • I'm Keeping An Eye On YouAqua art fair, Miami, Florida(group touring exhibition)December 2008, curated by John Spiak
  • ArtSway, HampshireJust World Order (with Ansel Krut, Charlotte Ginsborg, Kim Noble, Dunhill&O'Brian), group exhibition, 12 July – 7 Sept 2008
  • Wisconsin Jewish film festival 2008Screening of 'You're Joking'
  • Detroit Museum of New Art , 10th International Film and Video Festival, USA, screening, 9 – 31 March, 2007
  • Wolverhampton Art Gallery"Visions" programme Sep-Oct 2007
  • Artsway, Multichannel group exhibitionSept 30, 2007
  • University of Sheffield GalleryIn Their Own Wordsgroup exhibition, March 28 2007, End Gallery.


Selected reviews

  • Amelia Jones, " An 'Other' History: Feminist Art in Britain Since 1970'John Slyce, Adler, Phoebe (eds.), Contemporary Art in the United Kingdom, London:Black Dog Publishing, p.181, 2014
  • Steyn, Julia, (2014) "In the Hinterlands: Identity, Migration & Memory", Cross-cultural Identities: Art, Migrants and the Metaphor of Waste, Steyn, Juliet, Stamselberg, Nadja (eds.) I.B.Tauris, pp. 97122 (core case study)
  • Jones, Amelia, Seeing Differently: A History and Theory of Identification in the Visual Arts, (my work as case study) Routledge, 2012
  • Steyn Juliet, Cross-cultural Identities: Art, Migrants and the Metaphor of Waste, (my work as case study), I.B.Tauris, forthcoming 2013
  • Prof. Linda Weinhouse (USA) and Prof. Efraim Sicher (Israel), Under Post-colonial Eyes: The Figure of the "Jew" in Postmodernist Fiction (forthcoming 2013)
  • Bloom Lisa, "Jewish Identities, Sexualities and Feminist Art", Jews and Sex, (my artwork as case study for chapter) (Ed. Nathan Abrams), Five Leaves Press, 2008, pp121-137,
  • Blackwells Companion to Contemporary Art since 1945, ed. Amelia Jones, Blackwell 2006, featuring in "Implications of Blackness", (my artwork as case study for chapter) Pauline de Souza, p. 373
  • "The Undecidability of Difference: The Work of Rachel Garfield", Amelia Jones, Rachel Garfield catalogue touring show, UH Press, 2005, pp. 19-34
  • "",  review of solo national touring show.
  • Totally Jewish. Com, review of National Touring show, 2005
  • 'Restretching the Canvas', Pam Skelton Rosemary Betterton (ed.), Unframed: The Practices and Politics of Women Painting, IB Tauris Ltd, 2003, (my artwork as case study in chapter) pp. 2-175
  • Robert Clark review, 'Garfield, Mojsiewicz And Samadian', Guardian Guide, March15 – 23, 2003, pg. 34
  • Art Monthly, Dave Burrows, Review of 10th East International, no 239, September 2000, pp.32-34, ISSN 0142 6702
  • "Between Seeing and Knowing: Stephen Dwoskin's Behindert and the Camera' Caress", Other Cinemas: Politics, Culture and British Experimental Film in the 1970s (edited by Sue Clayton and Laura Mulvey), July 2017
  • Garfield, Rachel & Butler, Alison, Screen Journal Dossier: Stephen Dwoskin, contributors, Dan Kidner, Lucy Reynolds, Adrian Martin, Henry K Miller, Vol. 57, Issue 1, Spring 2016
  • "From The Evacuees to Grandma's House: Class and Jewish Identity on British Television", ed. Nathan Abrams, The Hidden Presence of Jews in British Film and Television, Northwestern UP, pp. 130-148, 2016
  • "Playing with history: Negotiating subjectivity in contemporary lens based art", chapter anthology, Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Jewish Cultures, Nadia Valman, Laurence Roth eds. pp. 320- 339, Routledge NY, 2015
  • "Maximalism as a Cosmopolitan strategy in the art of Ruth Novaczek and Doug Fishbone", special edition Jews on the Move, eds Sander Gilman, Cathy Gelbin, European Review of History, Routledge, 2015
  • "Negotiating the British Landscape" Anwar Jalal Shemza, ed Iftikhar Dadi, Ridinghouse, London, pp.19-25, 2015
  • "Imagining Multicultural London: Containment and Excess in Snatch", European Judaism, Vol 47, No. 2, Autumn 2014, eds. Sue Vice & Axel Staehler, pp 60-68, Berghahn Journals
  • Parallel editing, multi-positionality and maximalism: cosmopolitan effects as explored in some art works by Melanie Jackson and Vivienne Dick. Special inaugural issue of peer review Journal, Open Art Journal (OU pub), ed. Bertold Schoene (2013) ISSN: 2050 3679 DOI: 10.5456/issn.5050-3679/2013s06rg, 
  • Rachel Garfield, Anwar Jalal Shemza, Take 2: The British Landscape, Green Cardamom, Sept 2010
  • Garfield Rachel, Rocket to the Moon, review of Kutlug Ataman film for Art Monthly, No 334, March 2010, P. 33, ISSN 01426702
  • Rachel Garfieldchapter monograph "A Particular Incoherence", Between Truth and Fiction, The Films of Vivienne Dick, (ed Treasa O'Brian), Crawford Art Centre/Lux publication,2009 ISBN 0-9548569-8-8
  • Garfield Rachel, book review, Art Monthly, 'Modern Art Culture' Francis Frascina (ed), Routledge, 2009
  • Garfield Rachel, l'Encyclopédie Noveaux Médias, Centre Pompidou, Paris, Museum Geneva, Switzerland., commissioned text on Zineb Sedira, 2008
  • Rachel Garfield, Speaking with forked tongue: Keith Piper, Luxonline, 2008
  • Garfield Rachel, chapter monograph,'Questioning Perceptions of Jewish Identity in the work of Ary Stillman', Ary Stillman: From Impressionism to Abstract Expressionism, (ed) James Wechsler, (ed), Merrell, NY, 2008, pp149 - 163, ISBN 9781858944333
  • Rachel Garfield, 'Articulating a Position Through Research; The Practice Led PhD, A case Study'Journal of Media Practice, Journal paper, Autumn 2007, Vol 8.2, pp.221-234. ISSN 1468-2753
  • Rachel Garfield, 'Radical Uncertainty and Elegaic Practices', catalogue chapter, Aftershock: Conflict and Resolution in Contemporary Art, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, catalogue essay (artists in exhibition include - Alfredo Jaar; Atlas Group; Simon Norfolk amongst others), ISBN 9780946009558
  • Rachel Garfield, Avinash Chandra: A Reappraisal, catalogue essay for Chandra exhibition at Osbourne Samuel Fine Art, 2006
  • Axis web Dialogue, "on practice as research", April 06
  • Garfield, Rachel, "Towards a Re-articulation of Cultural Identity: Problematising the Jewish Subject in Art" Third Text 78, Volume 20, issue 1, January 2006, pp 99-108, ISBN 0415 405025
  • Beyond Identity: New Directions In Visual Art And Culture Critical Debates, in conversation with Prof. Amelia Jones at the Victoria and Albert Museum
  • 'In Place of Paralysis', Rachel Garfield and John Timberlake, Out of Conflict: Catherine Elwes and Cornford and Cross, Artsway publications, 2004, ISBN: 0 954393031
  • Flash Art, Zineb Sedira, No 232, October 2000
  • The Jewish Quarterly, R.Garfield, 'Oreet Ashery: Transgressing the Sacred', No. 186pgs.11-13, ISSN 1361 7699
  • Third Text, R.Garfield, 'Ali G: A Response To Ali Nobel Ahmad', 57 Autumn 2001, pp87-89 ISSN 0952-8822
  • Oreet Ashery: Transgressing the Sacred, R.Garfield, in CD Rom: 'Alter Ego' as catalogue for exhibition, curated by Wibke Behrens, Berlin, 2002
  • everything magazine, R.Garfield, interview with 'City Racing', vol. 3 (4), ISSN 1361 7699
  • Third Text, 'Ali G: Just Who Does He Think He Is', R.Garfield, vol. 54, Spring 2001,pp.63-70, ISSN 0952-8822
  • The Jewish Quarterly, R.Garfield, 'Ali G: Just Who Does He Think He Is', winter 2000, Number 180 pp.69-72, ISSN 1361 7699.


Loading your publications ...