Call for Papers | Art, History, Exhibitions: Re-thinking Relationships – Conference (Association for Art History 2024)
Conference dates: 3-5 April 2024
Conference location: Bristol, UK
Session conveners: Mehmet Berkay Sülek (University of Amsterdam), Julia Alting (University of Groningen)
Submission: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Submission deadline: 10 November 2023
Read more here.
In 1981, American artist and writer Mary Kelly defiantly underlined how exhibitions have become primary tools for the dissemination of art. Since the 1990s, following the establishment of curatorial studies, the proliferation of global biennials and the growing status of the curator, art historians have increasingly acknowledged this. In recent years the study of historical exhibitions has therefore gained traction as a legitimate avenue for art historical inquiry. This has developed in tandem with the practice of restaging important historical exhibitions in museums. As Saloni Mathur posed in 2019, exhibitions are a crucial space where the canon can be diversified and questioned. At the same time, a canonical list of exhibitions is often repeated (e.g., Jean Hubert Martin’s Magiciens de la terre, Gerardo Mosquera’s The Third Habana Biennial and Rasheed Araeen’s The Other Story; all from 1989), leaving open the question of selection: why do exhibitions gain notoriety; why are others forgotten?
Many transhistorical and transnational group shows, biennials or collective experiments transgress the main two pillars of art history: linear chronology and nation-statist boundaries. Thus, this condition raises another question: what does it mean to state that art history is shaped by exhibitions in our current moment? We invite scholars of art, curators, museum professionals, and artists to speculate on the future directions of the discipline in its relationship to curatorial practices in past and present. Reflections on current historiographical challenges to the discipline from decolonial, feminist and queer angles and attention to heterogeneous curatorial experiments are expressly welcome.
Please email your title and abstract (250 words) for a 20-minute paper, your name and institutional affiliation directly to the session conveners. More information about the conference can be found here.