CFP: Texts and statements by artists during the Cold War (Paris, 4-5 November 2015)

Paris, Institut d’études de l’Islam et des sociétés du monde musulman (IISMM/EHESS)
November 4-5, 2015
Deadline: July 31, 2015

Texts and statements by artists from North Africa, Middle East and Eastern Europe during the Cold War (1947-1989)

This symposium on artists’ texts and statements which have circulated within the context of the Cold War (1947-1989) will pay special attention to statements undervalued or ignored by most of the art histories produced at the present time, which are still focused on the action of a few “centers.”

Art and art history construct narratives which define a “common world”, which means they neglect or marginalize, in particular, texts and statements by artists regarded as being outside this world, or relate them to specific “cultural areas”. The deconstruction of those narratives is a complex undertaking, as evidenced by the scarcity of studies that consider the participation of artists from North Africa or from the Middle East to events which have contributed to forging alliances in the Atlantic camp, or to cultural exchanges with Eastern Europe. Very little attention has likewise been paid to cultural manifestations organized by the Non-Aligned Movement, founded in 1961 (Belgrade Conference), to the Pan-Arabic Festivals and to the developments of those debates until the end of the 1980s.

Those artistic events have given rise to many commentaries written by artists involved in each camp. The papers will focus on statements (texts, manifestos, interviews, public debates, etc.) produced by artists working in North Africa, in the Middle East and in Eastern Europe. They will take into account their context of enunciation and the complexity of cultural relations that must also been understood in terms of intertextual relations, the different paradigms that nourished those ideological confrontations and the modalities of cultural exchanges (festivals, magazines, translations, etc.).

Proposals of no more than 300 words (in French or in English) and a brief CV should be sent no later than 31 July 2015 to this address :

Organization : Catherine Fraixe (Professor of Art History, Ecole nationale supérieure d’art de Bourges, France) and Monia Abdallah (Professor of Art History, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada).

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