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  • 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
    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

    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.


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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 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.


  • 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.


  • 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

    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.


  • 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.


  • Conference: Ecrits et paroles d'artistes dans la Guerre froide (Paris; 4-5 November 2015)

    Institut d’études de l’Islam et des sociétés du monde musulman (EHESS), Paris, France, November 4 - 05, 2015


    Journées d’études organisées par Catherine Fraixe (ENSA, Bourges) et Monia Abdallah (UQÀM, Montréal) avec le soutien du ministère de la Culture et de la Communication

    Institut d’études de l’Islam et des sociétés du monde musulman
    École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales
    Salle Lombard (rez-de-chaussée)
    96, avenue Raspail 75006 Paris


    Mercredi, 4 Novembre

    9h30 Accueil

    10h Introduction
    Catherine Fraixe (ENSA, Bourges) et Monia Abdallah (UQÀM, Montréal)

    Session 1 Ecrits et paroles d’artistes. Contextes

    10h30 Magda Predescu (Musée national d’Art contemporain, Bucarest)
    Le dialogue interculturel par l’intermédiaire des structures transnationales pendant la Guerre froide

    11h Yang Wang (Luther College, Iowa)
    Solidarity of Ancients : Shi Lu’s Art Theory and China’ s Alignment With the Third World

    11h30 Fanny Gillet (EHESS, Paris)
    Constructions sociales et solidarités tiers- mondistes dans l’ Algérie post-indépendante (1960-1980): pour un art «nécessairement» politique

    12h Débat

    Session 2 Ecrits et paroles d’artistes. Positionnements

    14h Clare Davies (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)
    Decolonizing Culture: Third World, Moroccan, and Arab Art in Souffles/Anfas, 1966-1972

    14h30 Nadia Yaqub (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
    Palestine and Third Cinema in the Arab World of the 1970s

    15h Alia Nakhli (Université de La Manouba, Tunis)
    Le colloque sur les styles contemporains des arts plastiques arabes (septembre 1972): thèmes et enjeux

    15h30 Morad Montazami (Tate Modern, Londres)
    Hamed Abdalla: entre les lignes du modernisme, se réinventer

    16h Entretien: Latifa Toujani (artiste plasticienne, Maroc) – Monia Abdallah (UQÀM, Montréal)

    17h Débat

    Jeudi, 5 novembre

    Session 3 Ecrits et paroles d’artistes. Circulations

    10h Perin Emel Yavuz (ARVIMM, Paris)
    Le(s) tournant(s) de l’ art stambouliote, importation ou appropriation du modèle européo-américain? Lecture des écrits du Sanat Tanimi Toplulugu (The Art Definition Group)

    10h30 Mohieddine Hadhri (Université de La Manouba, Tunis)
    Les Journées Cinématographiques de Carthage: une plateforme de promotion culturelle du Sud à l’ époque de la Guerre froide (1966-1989)

    11h Christa-Maria Lerm Hayes (University of Amsterdam)
    Avoiding Texts and Statements: Art in Eastern European Peripheries During the Cold War and Its Mediation

    11h30 Débat

    Session 4 Ecrits et paroles d’artistes. Archives

    14h Kristine Khouri et Rasha Salti (History of Arab Modernities in the Visual Arts Study Group, Beyrouth)
    In the Labyrinths of Exhibition Histories : The International Art Exhibition for Palestine, Beirut 1978

    15h Vali Mahlouji (Archaeology of the Final Decade, Londres)
    An Archaeological Guide for the Deployment of an Archive

    15h30 Maud Houssais (L’ appartement 22, Rabat)
    L’ espace de documentation de L’ appartement 22

    16h Magda Predescu (Musée national d’Art contemporain, Bucarest)
    La revue électronique docu.magazin

    16h30 Débat

    17h Conclusion
    Monia Abdallah et Catherine Fraixe

  • CFP: 2016 NESEEES Conference (NYU Jordan Center, New York; April 2, 2016)



    Submit a proposal for an individual paper or for a complete panel for the 37th annual Conference of the Northeast Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (NESEEES, a regional affiliate of ASEEES). The Conference will be held on Saturday, April 2, 2016 at the NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia.

    NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia
    19 University Place, 2nd floor
    New York, NY 10003
    Phone 212.992.6575

    Yanni Kotsonis, Director of the Jordan Center, will be the President of the 2016 Conference.

    Scholarly papers and panels are welcome on any aspect of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies. Complete panels will receive preference over individual paper submissions. Proposals must include the following:

    1. Title and a one-paragraph abstract
    2. Any requests for technical support (very important!)
    3. Presenter’s email and surface mail addresses
    4. Presenter’s institutional affiliation and professional status (professor, graduate student, etc.)
    5. The name and contact information for the panel organizer, where applicable.

    Undergraduate students under the guidance of a faculty mentor may present a paper at the Conference if the faculty mentor submits the information listed above.
    Please send your proposals via electronic format to not later than December 31, 2015. (Note that this is a new email address, and not the one used last year.)

    Professionals in the field are strongly urged to volunteer to serve as chairs and/or discussants. Much of the benefit of the Conference depends on active participation and informed commentary by participants. Graduate students are encouraged to participate. Two juried awards of $200 for first prize and $150 for second prize are made annually for the best graduate papers presented at the NESEEES Conference judged according to the following criteria:

    · clarity of main research question outlining the scholar’s approach to the topic

    · importance of the research to the profession

    · amount of support for the argument

    · use of primary sources

    · adequate and interesting content

    · readiness for publication: use of English, readability and style

    Following the Conference, graduate students may submit revised papers to the competition for review. Visual materials accompanying the presentation at the Conference should be submitted along with the written text for evaluation. The first prize paper will be entered in the national ASEEES competition.