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Conferences

  • Conference: 100 Years of Suprematism (Harriman Institute, New York; December 11-12, 2015)

    The Malevich Society will host “100 Years of Suprematism,” a conference organized in celebration of the centenary of Kazimir Malevich’s invention of Suprematism and the first public display of his Suprematist paintings in December, 1915. The two-day conference, organized in association with the Harriman Institute, the Lazar Khidekel Society, and SHERA, will be held on Friday and Saturday, December 11-12, 2015, at the Davis Auditorium, Schapiro Center, Columbia University, New York City (directions: http://apam.columbia.edu/directions-davis-auditorium-cepsr.

    The conference promises to be an historic event, featuring presentations by an international and renowned group of scholars. Among them are leading researchers in the field from the United States, Russia, and the United Kingdom. The event will also include a presentation of Kazimir Malevich: Letters and Documents, Memoirs and Criticism (London: Tate, 2015).

    The conference program, abstracts, and registration are available on The Malevich Society’s website. Although registration will be available at the door on December 11 and 12 (based on space availability), registration online is encouraged to ensure a seat. Attendance is free.

    Questions can be sent to info@malevichsociety.org.

  • Conference: Visualizing the Nation (Budapest; 27-28 November 2015)

    Budapest, ELTE BTK (Eötvös Loránd University – Faculty of Humanities) Faculty Council Hall, Ground Floor of Building “A”, Múzeum krt. 4/A
    November 27 - 28, 2015
    Visualizing the Nation. Post-Socialist ImagiNations

    While nationalism was expected to vanish in the post-Cold War era, it has instead returned with a vengeance, empowered by a renewed vitality. The spectre of nationalism is haunting Europe, and not only in the former-Eastern bloc, but also in the more affluent countries, which have been impacted by the economic crisis and mass-migration. This conference, however, mainly focuses on the Eastern and Central European region after the fall of communism with consideration of and occasional comparison with cases from outside of the region.

    It centres on the visual dimensions of nationalism, as nationalism is considered one of the most visual political currents. Yet conferences on nationalism, though abundant, hardly ever address this link. This one broadens the scope of interpretation, moving beyond an exploration of the political, sociological and philosophical aspects of the “imagined communities” of the present and focusing instead on the often overlooked but fundamental processes through which the nation is visualized.

    Art and culture have always played a prominent role in the nation-building process, as nationalism inherently speaks the language of images and presents itself via a plethora of vivid pictures, symbols, myths, and performative rituals. Dreams, fantasy and imagination, projected on the past and future, contribute to this. Its building blocks are moments of history commemorated by monuments (and counter-monuments) and propagated by an institutional framework.

    The four sections of the two-day conference are post-socialist nationalisms; nationalizing public space; on the margins of the nation; and historicizing the nation.

    FOR THE COMPLETE CONFERENCE PROGRAM, SEE FULL POST

  • Conference: Stravinsky’s Fox: Folk, Myth & Ritual in the Russian Silver Age (Cambridge, UK; December 14, 2015)

    Conference: Stravinsky’s Fox: Folk, Myth & Ritual in the Russian Silver Age (Cambridge, UK; December 14, 2015)

    Monday 14 December 2015
    10.20-14.30
    The Department of History of Art, University of Cambridge

    The centenary of the riotous first performance of Igor Stravinsky’s best known modernist work, Le Sacre du printemps (1913), has inspired numerous scholarly and public events in recent years. Less well known are the works Stravinsky wrote in Switzerland during the wartime years, which saw him developing his interest in themes drawn from Russian folklore. After the Pribautki of 1914, the one-act ‘burlesque in song and dance’ Renard, commissioned by the Princess de Polignac, was written between 1915 and 1916; this was followed by, among other works, The Cat’s Lullabies (1915), Three Children’s Tales (1917) and Four Russian Peasant Songs (1917).

    This interdisciplinary workshop explores ideas of folk, myth and ritual in early twentieth-century Russian culture. It comprises four papers situating Stravinsky’s work in the context of visual culture, music, fashion and dance, followed by a panel discussion. Papers seek to highlight synergies between modernist trends in these differing genres during the ‘Silver Age’, as well as the impact of Russian culture on the development of modernism in Western Europe around the time of the Great War.

    For a full programme and booking instructions, please visit http://ccrac.hoart.cam.ac.uk/upcoming-events/

    This workshop is organised by the Cambridge Courtauld Russian Art Centre and seeks to complement the Philharmonia Orchestra’s 2015-2016 season ‘Myths and Rituals’. For more information, see here.

    The event is enabled by a conference grant from the Department of History of Art, University of Cambridge.
    Convenors: Dr Rosalind Polly Blakesley: University of Cambridge; Dr Louise Hardiman: Independent Scholar

  • Conference: Politics of Aura. El Lissitzky’s ‘Abstract Cabinet’ between Musealisation and Participation (Berlin; December 2, 2015)

    Conference on the project „Demonstrationsraum“ (Demonstration Room) at the Representation of Lower Saxony at the Federal Government in Berlin as part of its annual program “inspections // participation” in cooperation with the DFG Post-Graduate Program 1843 “The Photographic Dispositif” at the Braunschweig University of Art

    Date: Wednesday, December 2, 2015, noon – 5.30 pm, followed by an evening lecture at 7 pm
    Location: Vertretung des Landes Niedersachsen beim Bund, Ministergärten 10, 10117 Berlin

    “Demonstrationsraum” is an exhibition on the “Abstract Cabinet” by El Lissitzky (1890-1941) conceived as an Augmented Reality app. The project is based on Lissitzky’s artistic and social vision of the combination of art and technology which is transferred into an interactive application consisting of historical and contemporary photographs. By employing this media technology, the complex history of the “Demonstrationsraum” is rendered visible with the help of its archival material. At the same time, the application opens a virtual space in which users can inscribe themselves into the historiography of this museum object by taking a selfie. The active participation of the viewer as an constitutive part of the museum presentation of the “Abstract Cabinet” is thereby reactivated. The project explores new methods of research, exhibition and knowledge production with the aim of a scientifically sound and at the same time low-threshold representation of the history and art historiography of this complex art object.

    In June 2016, the app “Demonstrationsraum” will be available in the “Abstract Cabinet” at the Sprengel Museum Hannover. It will be presented in the Representation of Lower Saxony at the Federal Government in Berlin as part of the annual program “inspections // participation” from November 30 to December 13, 2015. In October 2016, the project will be presented in the gallery of the Braunschweig University of Art.

    On December 2, 2015 the conference “Politics of Aura. El Lissitzky’s ‘Abstract Cabinet’ between Musealisation and Participation“ at the Vertretung des Landes Niedersachsen beim Bund, Berlin, will discuss the project and the issues it aims to address.

    The tension between aura detachment and the auratic appearance of the means to achieve it that made Lissitzky’s installation such an interesting case for contemporary artistic and curatorial practices is accelerated by its art historical canonization. The primal space was destroyed in the 1930s under the pressure of the cultural political campaigns of the nazi regime and re-erected as late as in 1968. This reconstruction of the “Abstract Cabinet” was moved to the Sprengel Museum Hannover in 1979, where it has since been on view as part of the permanent collection. The museum’s logic transformed it into a Gesamtkunstwerk, in opposition to a space dedicated to the experience of the spectator. An object, that today is the subject of considerations of conservation on the basis of the interpretation of historical documents of the space.

    To what extent is the “Abstract Cabinet’s” claim of participation compatible with its musealization? Do non-morphological aspects of the space have to be taken into account when it comes to its preservation? And how can an original state be postulated, when even the complex form of the installation is only fragmentarily conveyed in photographs, construction sketches and drawings? How can its initial mission be experienced now by contemporary visitors? Which methods and media could be employed to re-activate the “Abstract Cabinet”?

    These and further aspects of the project will be reflected from different perspectives in the format of short lectures followed by a discussion during the conference on December 2.

    FOR COMPLETE CONFERENCE SCHEDULE, SEE FULL POST

  • Conference: Old and Modern Art - A New Vision (Tbilisi; 20-21 November 2015)

    Old and modern art - A new vision
    Tbilisi, Georgia, November 20 - 21, 2015

    FOR THE COMPLETE CONFERENCE PROGRAM, SEE FULL POST

  • Conference: Peripheral Expressionisms (Bremen; 3-6 December 2015)

    Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany, December 3 - 06, 2015

    International Workshop
    Peripheral Expressionisms: Artistic Networks and Cultural Exchange between Germany and its Eastern Neighbors in the Context of the European Avant-garde

    Jacobs University, Bremen, December 3-6, 2015

    Funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media and Jacobs University, Bremen

    FOR THE COMPLETE PROGRAM, SEE FULL POST

  • Conference: Russian Art: Building Bridges between East and West. In Memoriam Dmitry Sarabyanov (Bremen; 26-27 November 2015)

    Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Jacobs University, Campus Ring 1, Bremen, Germany, Room 32/33, Lab III (Laboratory for Behavioral and Social Sciences) November 26 - 27, 2015
    Registration deadline: Nov 19, 2015

    RUSSIAN ART: BUILDING BRIDGES BETWEEN EAST AND WEST
    IN MEMORIAM DMITRY SARABYANOV

    Russian Art and Culture Group, Third Graduate Workshop

    Dmitry Sarabyanov (1923–2013), long-time head of the Department of Russian Art History at Moscow State University, was among the first scholars in the USSR to reconsider the so-called “formalist” artists, who had been denounced for ideological reasons, thus marking a turn in postwar Soviet thinking about Russian art. The third graduate workshop of the Russian Art and Culture Group focuses on a key aspect of Sarabyanov’s scholarship, the artistic dialogues between Russia and its neighbors to the west and to the east.

    FOR THE COMPLETE CONFERENCE PROGRAM, SEE FULL POST

  • Conference: Avant-garde Migrations (Lisbon; 19-20 November 2015)

    International Symposium: Avant-Garde Migrations
    Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, November 19 - 20, 2015

    Organised by: Art History Institute, Universidade Nova de Lisboa
    Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon
    with the support of RIHA (International Association of Research Institutes in the History of Art)

    Keynote speakers:
    Nina Gourianova - Northwestern University, Chicago
    Enric Bou - Università Ca Foscari Venezia
    Béatrice Joyeux-Prunel - École normale supérieure, Paris

    The Symposium proposes an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural analysis on avant-garde forced and deliberate migrations in the twentieth century, in particular during the so-called “interwar” period (1918-1939). It seeks to debate the significance of artistic migrations for both avant-garde formations and individual artists (painters, illustrators, poets, writers, architects, designers, photographers, film makers, etc) by considering not only major “émigré” movements from “peripheries” to well established artistic centres, as Paris, Berlin or Moscow, but also lesser known nomadic tendencies and circuits within regions and continents, those caused by the two world conflicts, and those triggered by less accounted for political, social, cultural, or personal circumstances.

    This is not just another forum on art in emigration, the topic well researched in the past two decades. Instead, while discussing the diversity of the twentieth century “migration phenomenon”, and the prevailing international character of the avant-garde movement, the Avant-garde Migrations Symposium aims at observing the significance of cultural and artistic circuits, transfers, collaborations, dialogues and confrontations within groups and formations that cannot be entirely considered under the umbrella of straightforward centre/periphery dichotomies. We would like to question the validity of the well-established methodological frameworks strictly operating within the concepts of “artistic influences” or “assimilation of pre-fixed styles”, which often feel outdated and dogmatic when applied to the arts being produced.

    This Symposium will address the effects of avant-garde artists’ motion between places, its contingent and historical factors, the national and trans-national grounds of artistic production, as well as cultural and artistic intersections, meetings, discoveries, paradoxes and exchanges streaming from translations, travel, escape, dislocation and exile.

    FOR THE COMPLETE SYMPOSIUM PROGRAM, SEE FULL POST

  • Conference: Framing Regionalist Art Forms in Late Empires - 1900-1950 (Vienna; 3-5 December 2015)

    Vienna, Austria, December 3 - 05, 2015
    Registration deadline: Dec 1, 2015
    http://www.asia-europe.uni-heidelberg.de/en/the-picturesque-eye

    The Picturesque Eye. Investigating Regionalist Art Forms in late Empires (1900–1950)

    Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art & Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna

    The international conference is a collaborative exercise between the Cluster of Excellence „Asia and Europe in a Global Context – The Dynamics of Transculturality” at Heidelberg University (and its project „Picturesque Modernities“, Michael Falser), the Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art (Herbert Justnik) and the Institute of Culture Studies and Theatre History of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (with its research cluster “Cultures of Knowledge”, Johannes Feichtinger and Cornelia Hülmbauer). The conference is planned in association with the DFG-Research Group „Transcultural Negotiations in the Ambits of Art“ at the Institute of Art History, Freie Universität Berlin.

    Regionalism – a means of stabilizing the centre? With this as an overarching question, the conference intends to focus on scientific approaches and artistic projects in the inner-European border areas and outer-European colonies between ca. 1900 and 1950 that tried to stabilize the imperial project mostly through two strategies: a deliberate “re-valuing” of existing regional cultural forms and a centrally governed initiation of new, regionalistically shaped art forms.

    Both of these strategies involve actors who – according to the first working hypothesis of the conference – drew on picturesque, i.e. selective, segmented and ‘agreeable’ directions of the eye. With the intention of broad aesthetic consent among the respective target audience, it was above all geared towards establishing political consensus between periphery and centre.

    Grouped around the wider context of the two world wars , the different case studies investigate late-colonial Empires with two overlapping regions: border areas within the European colonial powers themselves and overseas colonies.

    The case studies of different regionalist forms of culture and art are devoted to three thematic areas:
    a) the methods applied at the time in disciplines like art and architecture history, archeology, anthropology, etc., which were particularly influential in the colonies
    b) the institutional regimes and individual actors specifically involved in the regionalist projects, and
    c) the primarily visually oriented methods of selection and documentation (e.g. sketch book and inventory) and techniques governing the picturesque steering of the eye (e.g. photography and film).

    As an overall framework, the case studies either investigate the concrete procedures of mapping and recording, collecting, salvaging, and displaying of existing ‘regional’ art forms; or discuss newly commissioned regionalist projects. The papers focus on those visually constructed and at the same time (culture-)politically consensus-oriented approaches that manifested themselves mostly in architecture, sculpture, painting, arts and crafts, costumes, theatre, dance, photography, film and literature.

    FOR THE COMPLETE CONFERENCE PROGRAM, SEE FULL POST

  • Conference: Collecting and Empires (Florence; 5-7 November 2015)

    The creation and dissolution of empires has been a constant feature of human history from ancient times through the present day, especially if one passes from a historical to a theoretical definition of empire as an open expanding global frontier. Establishing new identities and new power relationships to coincide with changing political boundaries and cultural reaches, empires also destroyed and/or irrevocably altered social structures and the material culture on which those social structures were partly based. The political activities of empires—both formal and informal to use Doyle’s definition—find their material reflection in the creation of new art forms and the reevaluation of old art forms which often involved the movement of objects from periphery to center (and vice versa) and promoted the formation of new collections. New mentalities and new social relationships were represented by those collections but they were (and are) also fostered through them.

    In recent decades such issues surrounding objects and empire have become important components of our understanding of British colonialism, and to a lesser extent of anthropological approaches to colonial studies more broadly conceived. Concurrent with these developments, comparative studies of the political forms of empires have also appeared, though the baseline for such comparisons is invariably the Roman Empire, from whose imperium we derive our word, but which is ill-suited to describe post-WW-II hegemonies or even Asian historical examples. This conference seeks to cast a wider net temporally, spatially and conceptually by exploring the impact of the expansion and contraction of empires on collecting, collections, and collateral phenomena such as cultural exchange in a selection of the greatest empires the world has known from Han China to Hellenistic Greece to Aztec Mexico to the Third Reich without privileging particular political models and always with an eye to how these historical situations invite comparisons not only with each other but also with contemporary imperial tendencies.

    While some scholars would argue that the term empire no longer applies to today’s global and transnational environment, others have redefined ‘empire’ in terms of contemporary capitalism and a developing post-modern global order. Exclusively based on political and economic concerns (including identity politics) and for the most part distressingly Eurocentric, these analyses of empire or its evolution into something else yet to be defined, also neglect the impact of material culture, even though material culture studies have made great strides in recent decades by addressing issues of the migration of objects and people for both political and non-political reasons. Therefore by investigating empires and imperialism in a comparative manner through the lens of collecting practices, museum archetypes and museums proper, it is hoped that this conference workshop will help shape our understanding of what is indeed imperial about our own approach to material culture.

    Contribution to Scholarship: While individual empires have been studied extensively, it is only in recent decades that they have been examined from comparative political, social and cultural perspectives. It is also only recently that scholarship in history of collecting and anthropology has begun to address the role imperial expansion on collecting and museums in reference to European and particularly British colonialism. Still there is very little written on the history of collecting from any perspective outside of the European tradition or from before the Renaissance. This conference would—for the first time—approach the subject of collecting and empires from a global and inclusive comparative perspective, from which it is hoped that significant conclusions may be drawn about the social, cultural and political impact of collecting and display across the centuries and down to present times.

    FOR THE COMPLETE CONFERENCE PROGRAM, SEE FULL POST