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.


THURSDAY, 3 December 2015
Venue: Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art
Österreichisches Museum für Volkskunde; Laudongasse 15-19, 1080 Wien

14.00-15.00 Introduction

Matthias Beitl (Director of the Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art)
Welcome by the Hosting Institute

Michael Rössner and Johannes Feichtinger (Institute of Culture Studies and Theory History, ÖAW)
Introduction (I) by Partner Institution

Michael Falser (Global Art History, Heidelberg University)
Introduction (II) by Organizer: Picturesque Eye and Regionalism

Panel 1: From picture to depiction
Chair: Friedrich Tietjen (Vienna)

15.00–16.30 Photography

Franziska Scheuer (Dresden)
Pictorialism in Service of Human Geography. On the Importance of the Picturesque in the Photographic Collection Les Archives de la planète (1908–1931)

Herbert Justnik (Vienna)
Territorializing Images. Making Regions in late-imperial Habsburg

16.30–17.00 Coffee Break

17.00–18.30 Representations

Cora Bender (Siegen) Crossing Thresholds, Making Borders: Regionalism and Aesthetics in Post-Frontier America

Oksana Sarkisova (Budapest)
Across the Sixth Part of the World: Ethnographic Gaze and Early Soviet Expedition Cinema

19.00 Keynote (I)

Arnaud Maillet (Paris) From Claude Glass to Camera Lucida: Optical Instruments to Frame the World as Picturesque

Discussant: Michael Falser (Heidelberg)

20.00 Dinner Buffet
Open House: Volkskundemuseum Wien and its Exhibition Highlights

Friday, 4 December 2015
Venue: Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art

Panel II: From politics to art
Chair: Monica Juneja (Heidelberg)

9.00–10.30 Education Politics

Werner Telesko (Vienna)
The State as a Work of Art? – Regionalism and Imperial Politics in the Late Habsburg Empire

Nélia Dias (Lisbon)
A Tale of Two Museums in the 1930s: Ethnographic Politics in Paris and Hanoi

10.30–11.00 Coffee Break

11.00–12.30 Fine Arts Programmes

Igor Vranic (Florence)
Monarchic and Kaisertreu National Patriotism – Establishment of Arts and Crafts Movement in Croatian Lands of the Habsburg Monarchy until WWI

Nadine André-Pallois (Paris)
Regionalist Arts. The Ecoles des Beaux Arts in Indochina and France

12.30–14.00 Lunch Buffet
Optional Visit to the Archive of the Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art

Panel III: From mapping to display
Chair: Christian Kravagna (Vienna)

14.00–15.30 Historiographies

Martin Hofmann (Heidelberg) Integrating Chinese Traditions of Building and Construction into Global Contexts – An Outline of 1930

Pathmini Ukwattage (Basel) Architecture Indigenous to the Soil – Ideology, Imagery and Architectural Historiography in British India and Great Britain in the (late) colonial Period

15.30–16.00 Coffee Break

16.00–17.30 Museums

Olga Osadtschy (Basel)
Nationality in a Showcase – The Jewish Museum in St. Petersburg

Nabila Oulebsir (Poitiers)
Regionalist Displays in the Musée des arts populaires, Algiers – Paris

18.30 Keynote (II)
Matthew Rampley (Birmingham)
Empowering the Regions: The Cultural Policies of Austria-Hungary and Imperial Britain

Discussant: Georg Vasold (Berlin)

20.00 Optional Dinner

Saturday, 5 December 2015
Venue: Austrian Academy of Sciences; Theatersaal, Sonnenfelsgasse 19, 1010 Wien

Panel IV: From performance to spectacle
Chair: Noit Banai (Vienna)

9.00–10.30 Performative Arts

Katharina Wessely (Vienna)
Staging the Regional in Vienna’s Theatre Cultures

Sophie Roche (Heidelberg)
Moscow’s Cultural Empire: Ethnographic Traditions and Theatre Culture in Tadzhikistan

10.30–11.00 Coffee Break

11.00–12.30 Fairs

Marta Filipova (Birmingham)
Staging the Peasant. Regional Exhibitions from Prague 1891 to Brno 1928

Michael Falser (Heidelberg)
Pasar Gambir in Batavia (1922–1939): Vernacular Spectacles for the Capital of the Dutch East Indies

12.30–14.00 Lunch

14.00–15.30 Leisure

Georg Vasold (Berlin)
Tourism, Art History, and the War: the Adria-Exhibition 1913 in Vienna

Tomoko Mamine (Berlin)
Exhibe et Impera: Japanese Colonial Exhibitions on Korea in the 1920s and the Politics of Tourism

15.30–16.00 Coffee Break

16.00 Final Discussion – Round Table

End of Conference


Contact: Michael S. Falser
Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” (Global Art History)
Karl Jaspers Centre for Advanced Transcultural Studies
Address: Voßstrasse 2, Building 4400, D-69115 Heidelberg, Germany

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