Worlding Art History: Negotiating the Global and the Local - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Worlding Art History: Negotiating the Global and the Local

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Conference, Research Forum

Worlding Art History: Negotiating the Global and the Local

The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London

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Cao Fei. Splendid River. 2015. Outdoor installation. Photo courtesy of Secession Vienna/ Oliver Ottenschlaeger.©Cao Fei

Organised by

  • Sophie Guo - Courtauld Institute of Art
  • Jasmine Chohan - Courtauld Institute of Art

Ticket / entry details:

Free and open to all with advance booking requested.

The Courtauld Institute of Art’s Modern and Contemporary Postgraduate Colloquium 

Whether living, working or studying in megalopolises or in small towns forgotten by globalisation, negotiating a space between the global and the local is an everyday occurrence in today’s societies. The Courtauld Institute of Art’s Modern and Contemporary Postgraduate Colloquium invites speakers to navigate the local and the global through their diverse areas of research, not only in art, but in broader cultural fields including (but not limited to) media, film, fashion and music. The historical period that this event will cover is from the 19th century to the present day. The colloquium is open to internal and external speakers alike but preferably current graduate students and early career researchers, who are strongly encouraged to present papers associated with ongoing or projected dissertation research.

The theme of the colloquium is organised into the following four panels:

Centre and Periphery:
Centre and Periphery is most frequently utilised as a political science theory and is rooted in post-colonial discourse. This panel aims to explore the global and local through centre-periphery theory. Most famously espoused and used by Immanuel Wallerstein through his World-System-Theory, the centre is most frequently identified as Western nations – and the periphery, countries that used to be identified as Third World. 

Approaching institutions in its broadest sense, this panel invites speakers to consider the term in its literal and metaphorical form. Areas of exploration include:

  • how do biennial institutions incorporate the global and local and what are the dialectical tensions that emerge out of it?
  • How do institutions approach a globalised discourse in this day and age?
  • Where did a globalised discourse emerge from on an institutional level?
  • How did institutions adopt ‘Western’/global institutional standards in a specific timeframe?
  • How did institutions such as the salons of 18th century Paris affect a local and global discourse?
  • How have some institutions become ‘glocalised’?

New Media and Technologies: 
This panel aims to investigate the ways in which artists address the complicated relationships between the global and the local with new technologies that emerged under information societies. Lines of thought include:

  • how do artists critically respond to the rhetoric of deterritorialisation and rootlessness that is often associated with new media, such as video games and the mobile and internet technologies after Web 2.0?
  • How do artists who engage with the technology-based futurist movements (Afrofuturism, Gulf Futurism and Sinofuturism, etc.) negotiate the global and the local?
  • What are the strategies that new media artists undertake to critically approach the diverse impacts that globalisation brings about culturally, socially and politically?

Time and temporality are often closely related to power relations that can be problematic in the representations that explicitly or implicitly touch on the politics of the global and the local. We address the following questions:

  • how have temporal themes been used by artists as a tool for negotiating the relationship between the global and the local?
  • What role does temporality or the atemporal have to play in situating an artist’s practice within the global or local?
  • How are global and local narratives constructed through recourse to the notion of ‘contemporariness’ in the present?
  • How can the concepts of diachronism and anachronism be investigated in relation to cultural artefacts with a multi-layered identity that is not constrained by a particular space and time?

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