posted by Janet Landay, Program Manager, Fair Use Initiative — December 01, 2014
CAA is pleased to announce this year’s recipients of travel support through the CAA-Getty International Program. In an effort to promote greater interaction and exchange between American and international art historians, CAA will bring scholars from around the world to participate in the 2015 program, held during the association’s Annual Conference in New York City from February 11–14, 2015. This is the fourth year of the program, which has been generously funded by grants from the Getty Foundation since its inception. The participants—professors of art history, curators, and artists who teach art history—were selected by a jury of CAA members from a highly competitive group of applicants. In addition to covering travel expenses, hotel accommodations, and per diems, the CAA-Getty International Program includes support for conference registration and a one-year CAA membership.
The CAA-Getty International Program participants’ activities begin with a one-day preconference colloquium on international issues in art history, during which they meet with North-American-based CAA members to discuss common interests and challenges. The participants are assisted throughout the conference by CAA member hosts, who recommend relevant panel sessions and introduce them to colleagues who share their interests. Members of CAA’s International Committee have agreed to serve as hosts, along with representatives from several Affiliated Societies of CAA, including the American Council for Southern Asian Art, the Arts Council of the African Studies Association, the Association for Latin American Art, the Society of Contemporary Art Historians, and the Society of Historians of East European, Eurasia, and Russian Art and Architecture.
This program has increased international participation in the association’s activities, and expanded international networking and the exchange of ideas both during and after the conference. The CAA-Getty International Program supplements CAA’s regular program of Annual Conference Travel Grants for graduate students and international artists and scholars. We look forward to welcoming the recipients at the Annual Conference in New York City this February.
2015 CAA-Getty International Program Participants
Mokammal H. Bhuiyan
Mokammal H. Bhuiyan
Mokammal H. Bhuiyan is chairman of the Department of Archaeology at Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. With a BA (honors), MA, MPhil, and PhD in archaeology, he has developed scholarly interests that also include art history, iconography, and heritage studies and management of Eastern India and Bangladesh. The author of a 2003 book, Terracotta Art of Ancient Bengal, Bhuiyan has written numerous scholarly articles on art, iconography, archaeology, and heritage, both nationally and internationally, as well as newspaper articles on current issues in Bangladesh. He edited Studies in South Asian Heritage, featuring contributions by leading international scholars, as well as Pratnatattva, Vols. 17 and 18. He was a member of the editorial board of the Jahangirnagar Review Part-C, Vol. XXIII, 2011–2012 and serves on the Board of Advanced Studies and Academic Council of Jahangirnagar University. A participant in conferences and seminars around the world, Bhuiyan is a research fellow of the SAARC Cultural Centre and was a research fellow of the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. As a member of Object Identification Committee, Department of Archaeology, Government of Bangladesh, he has been actively involved in researching the vernacular architecture of Narsingdi, Bangladesh, and conducting a comparative study between Buddhist stone sculptures found in Mainamati, Bangladesh, and those in Tripura, India.
Dafne Cruz Porchini
Dafne Cruz Porchini
Dafne Cruz Porchini is a curator at the Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes (Museum of the Palace of Fine Arts) in Mexico City. From 2007 to 2011 she was the deputy director of the Museo Nacional de Arte (National Museum of Art), Mexico City. Cruz studied at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), where she received a PhD in art history in 2014. Her main research interests include the history of modern exhibitions and transcultural artistic exchanges, topics she has tried to link with her curatorial practice. Her most recent publication is a critical catalogue of twentieth-century modern Mexican painting, Catálogo comentado de pintura del siglo XX (Museo Nacional de Arte-Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, 2013), for which she served as the academic coordinator. She is currently organizing the exhibition Mexican Modernisms,which will open at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in fall 2016.
Boureima Tiékoroni Diamitani
Boureima Tiékoroni Diamitani
Since 2001, Boureima Tiékoroni Diamitani has been the executive director of the West African Museums Programme (WAMP), based in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. From 1989 to 1993, he served as the director of cultural heritage and museums of Burkina Faso and then as a consultant to the World Bank. Diamitani received his PhD in art history from the University of Iowa in Iowa City and is a specialist in the art of the Senufo people. He also holds a master’s degree in architecture and town planning from the African Crafts School of Architecture and Urbanism in Lomé, Togo. Diamitani was a predoctoral fellow at the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, and a Coleman fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Among the many exhibitions he has organized is Deux Roues (Two Wheels: History of Bicycles and Motorcycles in Burkina), National Museum of Burkina Faso, April 1990.
Ljerka Dulibić is senior research associate and curator of Italian paintings at the Strossmayer Gallery of Old Masters of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. She received her PhD in the history of art from Zagreb University in 2007 with a thesis on Tuscan fifteenth-century paintings from the Strossmayer Gallery collection. Since 2008 she has taught courses on art history and iconography at the Catholic Faculty of Theology, Zagreb University. Dulibić has received several awards and scholarships, including a grant from the Attingham Trust, England (2008). She has published papers in international conference proceedings and scholarly articles in international journals, as well as several books on the painting collection at the Strossmayer Gallery. Dulibić’s main research interests are focused on Italian Renaissance and Baroque painting, the history of art collecting and collections, provenance research of works of art in Croatian collections, and the history of the European art market in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Georgina Gluzman is an assistant professor of art history at the Universidad de San Andrés in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She graduated with honors from the Universidad de Buenos Aires, where she is currently completing her PhD. Gluzman’s research focuses on the work of nineteenth-century and early-twentieth-century Argentine women artists. She has published articles and book chapters concerning women artists in Buenos Aires, the iconography of the women of the 1810 revolution, and the role of women artists in early Argentine art-history surveys. In 2014 she cocurated Desbordando los géneros (Undoing Genders: Women Artists from the Ateneo) at the Museo de Arte de Tigre. This exhibition, based on the dissertation she is currently working on, showcased the work of three women artists active between 1880 and 1920.
Angelo Kakande is a senior lecturer and head of the Department of Industrial Arts and Applied Design, College of Engineering Design, Art, and Technology, Makerere University in Uganda. He holds degrees in fine arts (painting and ceramics), art history (MA and PhD), and law (bachelor of law). This combination of interests and training has altered the path of his studio practice and approach to art history and turned him into an activist-scholar. Kakande’s research now lies in the nexus of popular culture, art, art history, law, and the injustices and inequities afflicting many African citizens. Currently, he is exploring the ways in which widespread breaches in human rights form the character of Uganda’s art and art history. He has pursued this subject through two postdoctoral research projects. The first, called “Surviving as Entrepreneurs: Contemporary Ugandan Art and the Era of Neoliberal Reform”(2013), explores the ways in which artists have responded to the Structural Adjustment Programme in Uganda since the 1980s. The second project, “Kampala’s Public Monuments and Allegories of Exclusion: Perspectives on Governance, Human Rights, and Development (2014–16),” questions the ways in which Uganda’s national monuments function as agents of exclusion.
Nazar Kozak is a senior researcher in the Department of Art Historical Studies in the Ethnology Institute at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. After receiving his PhD from the Lviv Academy of Arts in Ukraine, he spent a year at the University of Athens under the auspices of the State Scholarships Foundation. A recipient of research and publication grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, Kozak also earned a fellowship to conduct research at the University of Vienna. Between 2001 and 2013, he taught art history at the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv (Ukraine). Kozak’s research focuses on political and religious iconography. He has published a monograph about the portraits of rulers in the art of Kyivan Rus’ as well as articles dealing with Byzantine and post-Byzantine murals preserved in Ukraine. His current studies are concerned with the iconography of the Akathistos Hymn in post-Byzantine art of the sixteenth century.
Savita Kumari is currently an assistant professor in the Department of History of Art at the National Museum Institute of History of Art, Conservation, and Museology, New Delhi, India. She holds a PhD from the same institute and specializes in medieval and premodern Indian art history. Engaged in research and teaching for the past eight years, Kumari is currently working on an international research project called “Cham Sculptures from Vietnam and Their Interface with Indian Art,” in collaboration with the Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculpture, Vietnam. She published a book entitled Tombs of Delhi: Sultanate Period in 2006 and coauthored a book entitled Heritage of Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan: Art and Architecture in 2012. Kumari has been awarded fellowships from the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), Charles Wallace India Trust Grants for Research and Visit (CWIT), and a UK Travel Award from Nehru Trust for Indian Collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum (NTICVA).
Nomusa Makhubu holds a PhD in art history and visual culture from Rhodes University, South Africa, and lectures in art history at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town. She is also a practicing artist who received the ABSA L’Atelier Gerard Sekoto Awardin 2006 and the Rhodes Amnesty International Woman of the Year Award(Art). Since then Makhubu has exhibited her work in South Africa, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Swaziland, China, and Reunion Island. In 2008 she was nominated as the presenting artist for the Business Day: Business and Art South Africa (BASA) Awardsand received the Purvis Prize for Academic Achievement in Fine Art, Rhodes University. Makhubu has presented research papers nationally and internationally. In 2010, she completed her fellowship with the Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation (OYASAF) in Nigeria. Her current research focuses on African popular culture and photography. She has worked as a Cue reviewer for the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown (2007, 2010, 2012) and was appointed to the National Arts Festival committee in 2011. Makhubu is a member of the Friends of the Michaelis Collection Committee at the Iziko South African National Gallery.
Ana Mannarino is an art-history professor at Rio de Janeiro Federal University in Brazil, where she teaches courses for students working on bachelor’s degrees in art history, as well as for other art degrees at the same institution. She is also an art historian and researcher. Mannarino received a PhD in art history from the Rio de Janeiro Federal University (PPGAV–UFRJ, Brazil) and participated in a year-long collaborative study program at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3. Her doctoral thesis, “Word in Brazilian Art: Mira Schendel and Waltercio Caldas,” focused on the relationship between text and image in Brazilian contemporary art, especially in the work of these two artists. Her research also considers the connections between art and poetry in Brazil, Concrete and Neoconcrete art, and the production of artist’s books.
After receiving an MA in art history and in graphic design ten years ago, Márton Orosz defended his PhD in the Institute of Art History at the University of Eötvös Loránd in Budapest, Hungary, in 2014. Since 2005 he has been working at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Budapest. There, as part of the Department of Art after 1800, he established the collection of photography and media art. In 2014 he became the director of the Victor Vasarely Museum, which is affiliated with the MFA. He now works as a curator in both institutions. Orosz’s research focuses on media art of the twentieth century such as photography, animated film and motion picture, as well as the art of the classical avant-garde, including architecture, design, and collectorship. Orosz has been a Terra Predoctoral Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC; an ESKAS Fellow at University of Berne in Switzerland; a Baden-Württemberg Research Fellow at Hochschule für Gestaltung (HfG) in Karlsruhe, Germany; and he was awarded a Gyorgy Kepes Fellowship for Advanced Studies and Transdisciplinary Research in Art, Culture and Technology at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is now working on the first monograph of the Hungarian–American visual artist, Gyorgy Kepes.
Andrey Shabanov received an MA in art history from the European University at Saint Petersburg, Russia (EUSPB) in 2004. In 2013 he completed his PhD at the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, with a thesis entitled “Re-Presenting the Peredvizhniki: a Partnership of Artists in Late Nineteenth-Century Imperial Russia.” A monograph based on the thesis and translated into Russian will be published by EUSP Press in early 2015. It will be followed in due course by a monograph in English. Shabanov is an associate research fellow in the Department of Art History of EUSPB, where he teaches graduate courses called “Russia and Europe: Emergence and Modernisation of Art Institutions and Practices in XVIII–XX Centuries” and “From Descriptive to Critical, Problem-Based Art Historical Research: Some Aspects of Academic Writing.” Inspired and informed by his work at the Courtauld, these courses aim to meaningfully link the present Russian art-historical scholarship practice with modern Western academic research standards and knowledge on the subject. Shabanov’s broader research interests are Russian and Western art of the second half of the nineteenth century and the twentieth century, contemporary art, the social history of art, the sociology of art, modern institutional art history, and the history of art exhibitions in Europe.
Shao Yiyang is a professor of art history and theory and the head of Western art studies at the Central Academy of Fine Art, Beijing. She is also a member of the Chinese executive committee of the Committée Internationale d’Histoire d’Art (CIHA). Shao received her PhD in art history and theory in 2003 from the University of Sydney, and her MA degree at the University of Western Sydney. Her teaching and research focuses on Western art history, theory, and Chinese modern and contemporary art. She has published widely on contemporary art and theory in Chinese including two books, Art after Postmodern (Hou xian dai zhi hou) and Beyond Postmodern (Chuanyue hou xiandai). Shao presented papers on Chinese modern art at the thirty-second CIHa congress in Melbourne (2008), the thirty-third CIHA congress in Nuremburg (2012), and the twenty-ninth art-history conference organized by Verband deutscher Kunsthistoriker (Association of German Art Historians) in Regensburg in 2007.
Lize van Robbroeck
Lize van Robbroeck
Lize van Robbroeck completed her honors degree in the history of art at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. Her MA, from the same university, dealt with the ideology and practice of community arts in South Africa. Van Robbroeck completed her PhD at the University of Stellenbosch, studying the discursive reception of modern black art in white South African writing. Her subsequent publications focused on postcoloniality and nationalism in South African visual arts. As a council member of the South African Visual Arts Historian’s Association (SAVAH), van Robbroeck organized the association’s 2008 annual conference. She is one of the editors and writers of Visual Century: South African Art in Context: 1907–2007, a four volume revisionist history of South African art in the twentieth century. Recently her research interests have expanded to include psychoanalytic theories of subjectivity, which she is applying to postcolonial visual culture. She is currently associate professor in the Department of Visual Arts at Stellenbosch University, where she coordinates the visual-studies courses.
Nóra Veszprémi is a lecturer at the Institute of Art History, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary. She studied art history and Hungarian literature at the same university, where she completed her PhD in art history in 2012. In 2011, Veszprémi was a visiting research student in art history at University College London, and in 2013 she received a research fellowship from the Cantemir Institute, University of Oxford. Until 2014, she was a curator at the Hungarian National Gallery, where she cocurated a retrospective of the nineteenth-century Hungarian painter József Borsos (2009) and a major exhibition on art and national identity in nineteenth-century Hungary (2010). Veszprémi’s research focuses on nineteenth-century Hungarian and Austrian visual culture. Her PhD thesis, which will soon be published as a book, provided a critical investigation of the concept of “national Romanticism.” She has presented papers at conferences in Hungary and abroad and has published essays on topics including the representation of gypsies in nineteenth-century Hungarian painting and literature, gothic imagery in Hungarian Romanticism, and the artists Miklós Barabás, József Borsos, and Viktor Madarász. Her article on the Rococo revival in mid-nineteenth-century Hungarian and Austrian painting will be published in The Art Bulletin in December 2014.
The art critic Dave Hickey will deliver the keynote address during Convocation at the 2015 CAA Annual Conference in New York. Free and open to the public, Convocation takes place on Wednesday, February 11, from 5:30 to 7:00 PM. The event will include the presentation of the annual Awards for Distinction and be followed by the conference’s Opening Reception, to be held at the Museum of Modern Art.
Hickey is the author of several books, including Prior Convictions: Stories from the Sixties (1989), The Invisible Dragon: Four Essays on Beauty (1993), Air Guitar: Essays on Art and Democracy (1997), and, most recently, Pirates and Farmers: Essays on Taste (2013). A new book, Pagan America, will appear in 2015, and a two-volume work called Feint of Heart: Essays on Individual Artists is in preparation.
Hickey has also contributed to numerous other books, exhibition catalogues, and anthologies, as well as to a wide range of magazines, journals, and newspapers. He has lectured at museums and universities around the world and taught art theory and creative writing for twenty years at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, Hickey was honored by CAA in 1994 with the Frank Jewett Mather Award for distinction in art criticism.
CAA communicated with Hickey via email this month. Here’s what he had to say.
Over the years I’ve consistently seen copies of your 1997 book Air Guitar: Essays on Art and Democracy in the studios of MFA students in New York. Why do you think the impact of this anthology has lasted so long?
I have a steady market of artists ages twenty to thirty. By the time they’re thirty and have tenure and benefits, they aren’t my fans anymore. About Air Guitar, I think it’s a willfully forgiving book that is kinda the Catcher in the Rye for young artists. Not a high recommendation.
At the CAA conference, you’ll have an audience that’s maybe a third artists, a third historians, with a few curators, critics, and art lovers thrown in for good measure. How do you plan to address this diverse crowd?
Unless this crowd has been radically balkanized in the last few years, I think we all have something in common. I could be very wrong.
What have you recently seen in contemporary art that excites or annoys you?
I’ve been a lot of things, but I can’t be a race-track tout.
CAA’s oldest member, the architectural historian James S. Ackerman, retired in 1990 but still conducts research and writes books. At age 94, he even has a website that receives regular updates on his activities. Do people in the visual artists—artists, scholars, critics, and curators—really ever retire?
If you write about art as long as I have, art becomes your language. My art language is being phased out by universities, but I will keep using it while I’m alive. I intend to win the long run.
CAA caught up with DeWitt Godfrey, the new president of the CAA Board of Directors, via email shortly after the board’s spring meeting, which was held on May 4, 2014, to talk about the organization’s direction.
Godfrey, professor of sculpture in the Department of Art and Art History at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, recently began his two-year term. A board member since 2009, he has served on the Executive Committee as secretary (2010–12) and vice president for committees (2012–14). Godfrey succeeds Anne Collins Goodyear, codirector of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Bowdoin, Maine, who has led the board since May 2012.
You reorganized the Professional Practices Committee to bring many of the guidelines and standards up to date. What progress has been made over the past few years?
During my term as chair, the Professional Practices Committee created a set of procedures and practices that would ensure that each standard and guideline would be reviewed—and updated as needed—on a regular schedule. Over the past few years, using these “guidelines for guidelines,” the committee has updated dozens of our standards, some of which had languished for decades. The Standards and Guidelines section is one the most visited on our website, and the CAA staff members field inquiries concerning best practices in the field on almost a daily basis. This section is one of the most important services we provide for membership, institutions, and the field more broadly.
The 2015–2020 Strategic Plan addresses advocacy for part-time faculty, instituting leadership ladders at CAA, building membership, and social networking. How would you like CAA to respond to these four issues during your term as president?
I can think of no issue of greater importance to CAA and our membership than the rapidly changing academic workforce and the plight of part-time and contingent faculty. CAA has been premised on the assumption that the basic needs of our academic members—economic stability, benefits, support for scholarship—would be met by their home institutions. With the increasing reliance on part-time and adjunct faculty, those assumptions are eroding, sometimes with alarming consequences. CAA must respond to these challenges through expanded advocacy at the governmental and institutional level (we are already members of the Coalition on the Academic Workforce) and moving to understand and meet the professional needs of this growing segment of our constituents.
A strong organization requires strong leadership. We are striving to cultivate leaders among the members of our standing Professional Interests, Practices, and Standards Committees and our awards and publishing-grant juries. We are also working to persuade CAA members of the benefits of committee service who can help us meet the organization’s challenges both now and in the future. We often reach out to members and even beyond CAA for specific expertise to augment the work of committees and task forces. We volunteer our time and talents, committed to the vision of CAA as the preeminent international leadership organization in the visual arts. We also recognize how CAA has supported our own teaching, practice, and service in myriad ways and want to provide the same benefits for our colleagues at all stages of their careers.
As CAA begins its second century, we face many of the same issues confronting other membership organizations in a digital world in which access to rich troves of information and services are decentralized and diffuse. The arts are where a diversity of disciplines come together. Over time, the needs and interests of our membership have undergone dramatic transformation; we want to continue to provide programs, publications, services, and opportunities that reflect the changing needs in the field and to deliver critical support to individual members over the course of their careers. We need to ask what benefits CAA membership provides. What can CAA do for it members that other learned societies cannot? How can we advocate the visual arts more broadly? How can we cultivate a membership with a diversity of practices and practitioners?
DeWitt Godfrey, Layman, 2012, corten steel and bolts, 23 x 7 x 8 ft. Currently installed at Lehman College Art Gallery, Lehman College, Bronx, New York (artwork © DeWitt Godfrey)
How has teaching art changed over the last fifteen years?
Over the last fifteen years the disciplinary model of studio teaching has come under pressure, mirroring the shifting, overlapping boundaries of artistic practices. The challenge is to provide an equivalent depth and rigor of a particular disciplinary practice in an art world and context in which disciplinary distinctions have lost much of their meaning and value. More dramatically, the reach of digital tools into every area of art practice is creating a wholesale revolution, a fundamental disruption of how and what we make, how and what we teach, and how we understand the role of art and design in the twenty-first century.
How have your travels and study in other countries—Japan, England, and Scotland—affected how you teach art
Work and travel in other countries provides both rich new worlds and materials and new vantage points from which to examine on your own history and experience. As Buckaroo Banzai put it, “wherever you go there you are.” Different cultures and people understand the world in different ways. I draw upon my international experiences that bring alternative perspectives to my process and practice—often from outside an art context—which helps me to reimagine familiar materials, ideas, and histories.
The Cambridge Arts Council in Massachusetts recently commissioned a public-art project called Waverly. What’s the progress like?
We are currently working the engineers on the location and design of the foundation elements, ahead of the road and bike path improvements that my project will be part of. My piece will span a bike path in a converted railway right of way, along the edge of MIT housing. The path also provides access for fire and safety vehicles, so my sculpture must meet strict width and height requirements. Right now we are projecting a completion sometime in 2015.
posted by CAA — December 04, 2013
In an effort to promote greater interaction and exchange between American and international art historians and artists, CAA offers twenty International Travel Grants to bring colleagues from around the world to its Annual Conference, to be held next year in Chicago from February 12 to 15, 2014. This is the third year of the program, which has been generously funded by the Getty Foundation since its inception. CAA is pleased to announce this year’s recipients—professors of art history, curators, and artists who teach art history—who were selected by a jury of CAA members from a highly competitive group of applicants. Their biographies are listed below.
In addition to covering travel expenses, hotel accommodations, and per diems, the CAA International Travel Grants include conference registration and a one-year CAA membership. At the conference, the twenty recipients will be paired with hosts, who will introduce them to CAA and to specific colleagues who share their interests. Members of CAA’s International Committee have agreed to serve as hosts, along with representatives from the National Committee for the History of Art (NCHA). CAA is grateful to NCHA for renewing its generous underwriting of the hosts’ expenses. The program will begin on February 11 with an introductory preconference for grant recipients and their hosts.
Grant recipients from previous years have found the experience enormously beneficial. Didier Houenoude, a 2012 grantee from Benin, reflected that “Meeting different colleagues from all over the world was a great experience…. I learned how possible and great it is to work with others although we have different research fields. I am convinced that it is very important to work in collaboration with other researchers.” Marina Vicelja-Matijašić, a 2013 grantee from Croatia, stated: “The possibility to talk about ‘general problems and issues’ such as global art history or crisis in art history in an international audience and sharing ideas from different perspectives was of great value.” Musarrat Hasan, a 2013 grantee from Pakistan, described the personal impact of the program, saying: “A whole new range and scope of possibilities have entered my horizon…. On a personal and human level it was a great gathering for creating global understanding.”
CAA hopes that the travel-grant program will not only increase international participation in the organization’s activities, but also expand international networking and the exchange of ideas both during and after the conference. The Getty-funded International Travel Grant Program supplements CAA’s regular program of Annual Conference Travel Grants for graduate students and international artists and scholars. We look forward to welcoming the grant recipients in Chicago at the next Annual Conference. To learn more about the CAA International Travel Grant Program, visit www.collegeart.org/travelgrants/gettyor contact project director Janet Landay at email@example.com.
Rael Artel is a curator of contemporary art and, since April 2013, director of the Tartu Art Museum in Estonia. She graduated from the Institute of Art History at the Estonian Academy of Arts in 2003 and participated in the De Appel Curatorial Training Programme in Amsterdam in 2004–5. Since 2000 she has curated projects in Estonia, Warsaw, Lisbon, Amsterdam, and New York. Artel is the artistic director of the festival of contemporary art in Tartu called ART IST KUKU NU UT. She is also the initiator and moderator of Public Preparation, an international platform for network-based communication and collective research.
Recent exhibitions include Let’s Talk about Nationalism! Between Ideology and Identity (Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn, Estonia, 2010); Lost in Transition (Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia, Tallinn, 2011); Art Must Be Beautiful: Selected Works by Marina Abramović (Tartu Art Museum, 2011); Life in the Forest (Arsenal Gallery, Bialystok, Poland, 2011); After Socialist Statues, KIM? (Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, Latvia, 2011); Explosion in Pärnu (Kumu Art Museum, 2012); and Marge Monko: How to Wear Red? (Tartu Art Museum, 2013).
Eric Appau Asante
Eric Appau Asante
Eric Appau Asante is a senior member and lecturer of art history at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana. He earned a PhD in art history (African art and culture) from the same university, where he currently teaches courses in the history of African art and culture, philosophy of African art and culture, research methodology, and history of global art.
For the past seven years Asante has concentrated his efforts on research and teaching people about history and symbolism in African art as well as art and memorial culture. In addition to these subjects he is interested in gender and art production, philosophies and educational connotations of African art, and wood culture and art production. In January 2013 he became Ghana’s coordinator for the International Wood Culture Society.
Cezar Bartholomeu is a photographer and professor of art history at the School of Fine Arts, Department of Art History, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), in Brazil. He received a PhD in Visual Languages from both the UFRJ and the École de Hautes Études in Paris. Since 2010 he has been the editor-in-chief of Arte & Ensaios, one of Brazil’s major art journals. His areas of research include photography as art, photography’s history and theory, and contemporary art and photography in Brazil and worldwide.
As a photographer, Bartholomeu exhibits widely in Brazil and Europe. His publications include “Três pequenos instantâneos: Benjamin, Barthes, Derrida” in Artefoto (Rio de Janeiro: CCBB, 2002), Celebrações/Negociações – Fotografia Africana na coleção Gilberto Chateaubriand (African Photography in the Gilberto Chateaubriand Collection, Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro, 2011), and “Emanation/Abjection” in Laboratório Público de Históra da Arte Mundial (Public World Art History Lab, Rio de Janeiro: UERJ, to be published in 2014).
Laris Borić studied art history at the University of Zadar (MA) and Zagreb (MSc) before receiving his PhD from the University of Zadar in 2010. His thesis, “Renaissance Sculpture and Architectural Decoration in Zadar,” indicates his ongoing interest in artistic and architectural production in Adriatic rim cultures between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries. He is especially interested in problems related to the permeation of heterogeneous influences in art (particularly sculpture and architecture) of towns in the northern part of the Adriatic (Venice, Veneto, Istria, Dalmatia, and Marche) and particularly the dominant role of Venice and Padua, and to a lesser degree, Marche, Lombardy, and Tuscany.
Borić is an assistant professor in the Department of the History of Art at the University of Zadar, where he teaches courses in European and Croatian Renaissance and Baroque art. In October 2013 he became chair of the department.
Eddie Butindo-Mbaalya teaches art history, theory, criticism, and education in the Department of Art and Industrial Design at Kyambogo University in Kampala, Uganda. With degrees in art history, art education, and fine arts, he is currently completing his PhD at Makerere University with a dissertation on contemporary public art in Uganda. Butindo-Mbaalya is especially interested in the complexity behind commemorative monuments and the debate about their role in constructing national collective memories.
As an artist, Butindo-Mbaalya is represented in the collection of the Weltkulturen Museum (World Cultures Museum) in Frankfurt, Germany. He has written about the art and architecture of recreational facilities in Uganda and also designed a logo for his country’s National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) as a World Bank–funded project.
Josefina de la Maza Chevesich
Josefina de la Maza Chevesich
Josefina de la Maza Chevesich studied art history and theory at Universidad de Chile before receiving her PhD in art history and criticism from Stony Brook University (New York) in 2013. Her academic interests revolve around the development of Chilean and Latin American art of the long nineteenth century, the definition of pictorial genres, the emergence of fine-art academies and museums, and the impact of authoritarian regimes on art history.
De la Maza’s dissertation, “Contesting Nationalism: Mamarrachos, Slave-Pieces, and ‘Masterpieces’ in Chilean Nineteenth-Century Painting,” explores the development of Chilean painting in the 1880s. Using the notion of mamarracho (bad or passé art) her work explores the emergence of official and unofficial discourses organized around Chilean painting in the midst of the War of the Pacific (1879–83), the constitution of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, and the official actions developed to preserve and promote “national art” in Europe. She is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Art at Universidad Alberto Hurtado in Santiago, Chile.
Katerina Gadjeva received a PhD in art history from the National Academy of Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria. She studies the history and theory of photography, in particular, the concept of “visual propaganda” and the role of photography in Socialist ideology in the USSR and Bulgaria. In 2012, she published a monograph on the subject, entitled Between Desire and Reality: Photographic Illustrations in Bulgarian Periodicals 1948–1956.
Gadjeva is an assistant professor in the Institute of Art Studies, Bulgarian Academy of Science, Sofia, and a lecturer in the New Bulgarian University and St. Kliment Ohridski University, Sofia. She also works with young Bulgarian artists who are interested in alternative photographic processes.
Heba Nayel Barakat Hassanein
Heba Nayel Barakat Hassanein
Heba Nayel Barakat Hassanein is the head of the Curatorial Affairs Department at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM). A graduate of the American University in Cairo, she is a specialist in Islamic art and architecture. She holds an MA in the history of architecture from Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, and a PhD from the Oriental Institute in Moscow, Russia. As project manager at the Center for Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage in Cairo, Egypt, she researched and documented Cairo’s nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century presidential palaces.
Hassanein has also documented the early Islamic papyrus collection and the Persian illuminated manuscript collection at the Egyptian National Library in Dar el-Kotob, Egypt, and worked on the pigment analysis of early miniatures. Currently she is overseeing the refurbishment of IAMM’s permanent galleries, researching artifacts, and supervising exhibitions and accompanying catalogues for the museum’s special-exhibition galleries.
Lilianne Lugo Herrera
Lilianne Lugo Herrera
Lilianne Lugo Herrera holds a degree in theater arts with a specialization in playwriting from the Universidad de las Artes in Havana, Cuba. Since 2010 she has been a professor at that university and vice dean of research and postgraduate studies at its Faculty of Theater.
Herrera is also the editor of Tablas, a magazine of Cuban theater. Herrera researches the relationships between the history of art and the history of theater and their interrelationships in the contemporary practice of art and the performing arts. Three of her plays have been published, one of them in the United States, and she has won several awards in playwriting. Herrera is an active participant in festivals, conferences, and residencies both in Cuba and internationally.
Hugues Heumen Tchana
Hugues Heumen Tchana
Hugues Heumen Tchana is a junior lecturer in the Department of Fine Arts and Heritage Sciences at the Higher Institute of the Sahel, University of Maroua, Cameroon. He is currently completing his PhD in museology with a dissertation on “Museums in the Cultural Sphere of the Grassfields of Cameroon: History, Management, and Current Stake.” The Higher Institute of the Sahel opened in 2010.
Heumen Tchana teaches courses on cultural heritage and museum management and supervises student internships in a number of museums in Cameroon. In 2007, he was awarded the international competitive examination scholarship for a master’s degree (2007–9) from the University of Senghor in Alexandria, Egypt. In 2009, Heumen Tchana completed an MA in development specializing in the management of cultural heritage, also from the University of Senghor.
Kanwal Khalid holds a BFA and MFA in graphic design, an MPhil in art history, and a PhD in fine arts, all from Punjab University in Lahore, Pakistan. She specializes in the history of South Asian art and design, with a particular focus on miniature painting in nineteenth-century Lahore. A practicing miniaturist, she is currently an assistant professor at the Institute of Design and Visual Arts, Lahore College for Women University. Previously she was the curator of paintings at the Lahore Museum.
Khalid serves on the editorial board of the Trust for History, Art and Architecture of Pakistan (THAAP), a forum for publications and research journal. She is also a board member of several organizations, including the Rotary Club Lahore Mozang and the Delaware Lahore Delhi Partnership for Peace, a nonprofit NGO of private citizens in the United States, Pakistan, and India dedicated to the creation of mutual understanding and goodwill.
Mahmuda Khnam is an assistant professor in the Department of Islamic History and Culture, Jagannath University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. She has been teaching and researching Islamic art, especially that of the Indian subcontinent, for more than a decade. Before joining the newly established university in 2012, she taught at Eden College in Dhaka.
Having earned her MPhil with a dissertation on Mughal architecture in the Comilla region of Bangladesh, Khnam is currently completing her PhD, researching the development of painting in Bengal during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In addition to a monograph based on her MPhil thesis, Khnam has published a number of articles on Islamic art and the art of Bengal, mostly in her native language, Bangla.
Daria Kostina is an assistant professor in the Department of Art History and Cultural Studies at the Ural Federal University in Yekaterinburg, Russia. She is also a curator at the B.U.Kashkin Museum, an experimental exhibition space and collection of underground and alternative art, housed within the same department and university. In addition to Yekaterinburg, Kostina has curated exhibitions in Saint Petersburg and New York.
Kostina studies Russian émigré art of the 1920s and 1930s, in particular artists who lived in the Czech Republic, and regional Russian underground and alternative art from the 1960 to the 1980s. Her PhD dissertation (in progress) is devoted to the work of Grigory Musatov, a Russian artist who emigrated to Prague in 1920. She is also interested in urban studies and in 2012 organized interdisciplinary workshop for emerging scholars, Contemporary Art as a Humanization Instrument for Public Spaces (Yekaterinburg).
Portia Malatjie is a South African curator and art historian based in Grahamstown and Johannesburg. She completed an MA in the history of art at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2011, following a fine-art degree at the same institution in 2008. She has curated numerous exhibitions of contemporary art, including CityTales and CountryScapes at Museum Africa (2011), Transference at the Johannesburg Art Gallery (2012), and the 2012 MTN New Contemporaries Award, an exhibition held at the historic Castle of Goodhope’s B Block in Cape Town. She has published widely in the Mail & Guardian, Artthrob, and Third Text and in numerous exhibition catalogues.
In 2011, Malatjie participated in the 24 Hour Suburban Residency at the Sober and Lonely Institute for Contemporary Art, where she organized a one-day workshop for emerging curators. A lecturer at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, she is currently researching the subject of black feminism in the context of South African art history and contemporary curatorial practices in her country and in other parts of Africa.
Fernando Martínez Nespral
Fernando Martínez Nespral
Fernando Martínez Nespral was trained as an architect at the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina and holds a PhD in history from Torcuato Di Tella University in Buenos Aires. He studies connections between the Islamic world and Hispanic American culture in the fields of architecture and art history. Approaching this subject from diverse starting points—a dictionary of Spanish words with Arabic origins, foreign accounts of domestic architecture in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spain, transcultural use of Spanish tiles—he is currently working on Islamic mashrabiya (balconies closed with lattice) and their frequent use in Latin American countries, especially Peru.
Martínez Nespral teaches courses on the history of architecture and is also a main researcher at the American Art and Aesthetics Research Institute, both positions at the School of Architecture, Design and Urbanism at the University of Buenos Aires.
Susana S. Martins
Susana S. Martins
Susana S. Martins is currently an FCT-Portugal Research Fellow both at the Institute for Art History, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal, and at the Institute for Cultural Studies, Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. Initially trained as an art historian in Lisbon, she was awarded a PhD in photography and cultural studies from the arts faculty of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, with the work “Portugal as Seen through Foreign Eyes: Photography and Visual Culture in the 1950s.”
Martins studies the history and theory of photography, with a particular focus on travel books, tourism, exhibitions, cinema, visual arts, surveillance, national identities, and postcolonial studies. She is interested in the different roles photography has played in international and universal exhibitions since the nineteenth century and also studies contemporary art, film, and politics. Since 2008 Martins has served as an art-history professor in the fields of photography, visual arts, communication semiotics, Impressionism, and modernity.
Magdalena Anna Nowak
Magdalena Anna Nowak
Magdalena Anna Nowak is an assistant curator in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at the National Museum in Warsaw. She received an MA from the Institute of Art History at the University of Warsaw in 2010, having spent the previous year at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris in the Department of Theories et Pratiques du Langage et des Arts. Her research then concentrated mainly on contemporary video art. In her current position she is in charge of the film and new-media collections at the museum and also curates temporary exhibitions.
Nowak is currently writing a PhD dissertation on repetition and reenactment of old-master paintings in video art. Her research concerns the interactions between old and contemporary art, the empathy theory, Aby Warburg’s legacy, the representation of emotions in art, and viewers’ reactions toward depicted passions and neuro art history. She is also interested in Polish art from the 1970s.
Freeborn Odiboh is a Nigerian artist, art historian, and critic. He holds a BFA in sculpture from the University of Benin, Benin City (1984), an MA in African visual arts history from the University of Ibadan (1987), and a PhD in art history from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (2004). He is an associate professor of art history and art criticism, Department of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Benin. Odiboh has received a number of international awards, including the Leventis postdoctoral fellowship at the University of London (2006) and a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies’ African Humanities Postdoctoral Program (2010–11).
In addition to publishing over twenty-seven articles in international and national journals, Odiboh published his first book, entitled Creative Reformation of Existing African tradition: The Abayomi Barber Art School and Modern Nigerian Art, in 2012. He is currently writing his second book, Africanizing a Modern African Art History Curriculum from Nigerian Experience. Odiboh’s art has been presented in several solo and group exhibitions in his country.
Adriana Oprea is a Romanian critic and art historian. She received her MA in art history at the National University of Arts in Bucharest with a study of feminism in recent Romanian art. She is currently pursuing a PhD, focusing on the discourse of art criticism and the status of the art critic during and after the Communist regime in Romania. Since 2006, Oprea has been a researcher and archivist at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest, where she organizes data regarding the activity of Romanian artists.
Oprea frequently collaborates with art spaces and writes essays for exhibition catalogues and reviews for Romanian magazines. She is associate editor for ARTA magazine, the main Romanian art publication during the Communist era and one of the few concerned with the present state of Romanian art. She sometimes curates exhibitions and on rare occasions poses as an artist. Oprea lives and works in Bucharest.
Ahmed Wahby is an Egyptian architect, art historian, and lover of Islamic art and architecture. Born in Nigeria, he grew up in the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates and moved to Cairo in the late 1980s. As a child, due to his many travels with his parents, he developed an interest in different cultures. While pursuing an MA in Islamic art from the American University in Cairo, he traveled to eastern China to explore historical Chinese mosques.
Wahby further developed his understanding of Islamic art, architecture, and culture by completing a PhD in the Oriental Department of the Otto-Friedrich University, School of Human Sciences, Art and Culture, in Bamberg, Germany. His dissertation research investigated the influences of Arab merchants on the shrines and mosques of the Indonesian island of Java in the fifteen and sixteenth centuries. Wahby is currently an assistant professor of design theory in the Faculty of Applied Sciences and Arts at the German University in Cairo.
Major support for CAA’s International Travel Grant Program has been provided by: Getty Foundation
Fifteenth Anniversary for caa.reviews
This fall caa.reviews celebrates its fifteenth year of publication. Founded in the fall of 1998, the online journal has published thousands of reviews of books, exhibitions, and more. The journal averages approximately 150 reviews annually.
The journal’s editor-in-chief, Sheryl Reiss, has been involved with caa.reviews since the beginning, first as field editor for books on early modern Southern European art and then as an editorial-board member. In 2010 she returned as editor designate, taking the reins from Lucy Oakley of New York University’s Grey Art Gallery in July 2011. CAA News spoke with Reiss in October via email.
How does caa.reviews fit in with established online journals such as Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, as well as with newer digital publications and reviews journals (Triple Canopy, Cassone, Art Book Review)?
The journal distinguishes itself from these and other online publications in several ways. Founded in 2002, Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide focuses exclusively on the “long” nineteenth century in a global context and publishes scholarly articles along with reviews of exhibitions and books. In contrast, caa.reviews covers materials from all periods and cultures, and while we seek to expand the number of essays we publish, our primary focus is on reviews of books, exhibitions, conferences, and recently, digital media. In this sense we also differ from the website of the Historians of Netherlandish Art, which includes a vibrant selection of book reviews. Our audience, currently CAA members, consists primarily of art historians, artists, museum professionals, and others with academic affiliations or interests. When the journal becomes open access next year, we anticipate significant expansion of our readership. The newer review journals you mention serve a broader public with greater emphasis on contemporary art and exhibitions in commercial galleries. Cassone, which focuses primarily on art in the United Kingdom, features interviews and editorial commentary, which could be fruitful paths for our journal to follow.
Have you noticed any subject trends in caa.reviews over the last year or two? If so, have they matched other trends in the academic and museum worlds?
Our coverage is so broad, and the interests of our more than thirty field editors—the group of scholars that commissions the book and exhibition reviews—so varied, that it is difficult to isolate just a few specific trends. That said, I would say that across the board I have noticed interest in materiality as a focus of books under review. Another major trend—in both academia and museums—is tremendous interest in global themes and cross-cultural interchange. In my view, one of the greatest strong points of caa.reviews is the extraordinary range of topics and approaches covered in our reviews.
Field editors will soon write subject pieces of their own, called “Re-views,” which I understand will be somewhat similar to the recent “State of the Field” essays in The Art Bulletin. What would you like to achieve with these contributions?
For some time, members of the caa.reviews Editorial Board have expressed their desire to increase the number of essays we publish. Indeed, this was a goal of the founding editors of the journal. At the CAA Publications Committee session I organized and chaired at the Annual Conference in February of this year, titled “Book Reviews and Beyond: caa.reviews at 15,” the panel (consisting of past editors of the journal and former editorial-board members) considered the scope and object of the reviewing enterprise—not only of books and exhibitions, but also in a more comprehensive sense. The participants and audience members agreed that expanding our efforts to publish thematic essays would be one way to broaden the journal’s mission and appeal. While somewhat similar to our sister journal’s “State of the Field” essays, the “Re-views” series will provide a locus for our field editors to reflect upon their respective fields as seen through the lens of the reviews they have commissioned. We envision publishing one or two of these essays each year, in which the field editors will consider the topics, methodologies, and debates current in publications and exhibitions in their respective areas. Our first essay in the series, by Tanya Sheehan (field editor for photography and an editorial-board member), is titled “Reflections on Photography” and was published in early October. It is our hope that this series will see anew—or re-view—the many fields covered by caa.reviews in the context of reviews the journal has published.
What were some of the challenges and highlights when initiating, working on, and completing the Scalar project on the exhibition Bernini: Sculpting in Clay?
Perhaps the greatest challenge was learning to use the Scalar digital platform, which is very powerful, but also quite daunting. Some of the work was using HTML code, which I had not done for many years. Thankfully, the staff at the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture (which provided a generous grant for the project) was always there to help. One of the great highlights was making the video walkthrough last February at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. The project not only permits users to visit the exhibition virtually, it also includes an introductory essay, links to other educational videos and to reviews by a scholar and an artist, a bibliography of further reading, and an interview with one of the curators. I should add that it was a joy to work with two of the exhibition’s curators, C. D. Dickerson III of the Kimbell and Tony Sigel of the Harvard Art Museums. I was fortunate to attend the study days associated with the show both in New York and Fort Worth, which greatly enriched my understanding of Bernini’s terra-cotta models. Finally, I have been really thrilled by the positive response to the project, particularly for classroom use.
How has the road to open access been for the journal? How can the journal encourage more commentary and interaction?
This is a very exciting time for caa.reviews. The path to open access for the journal has been long and steep, with a number of roadblocks along the way. For many years, it has been the desire of past editors and editorial-board members to reinstate the journal’s initial open status. The topic has been discussed at every meeting of the editorial board since I rejoined the journal in 2010, and it is a source of much gratification that in 2014, with the advent of CAA copublishing its journals with Taylor & Francis, the journal will once again be open to all interested readers worldwide. This is a great accomplishment! The editorial board is exploring new ways of presenting review content as the journal’s audience continues to expand. These include implementing moderated commentary and increasing the use of multimedia platforms, as in the recently completed Scalar Bernini project.
The following is an edited and revised version of the transcript of a talk given at the 2013 CAA Annual Conference in New York. The author has taken the liberty of including comments contained in his original notes for the talk that were left unspoken as well as that of smoothing out certain passages and eliminating repetitions and digressions in others.
The Art World We’ve Made, the Communities We Belong to, the Language We Use, and the Work We Have Yet to Do
Robert Storr delivers the Covocation address at the 2013 CAA Annual Confernece in New York (photograph by Bradley Marks)
Occasions of this kind are very strange. Hal Foster was speaking earlier about triangulation, and the number of triangles I can draw in this room is kind of disconcerting, starting with the fact that Hal was once my editor at Art in America. Some of the other, more consequential ones will be touched on by what I have to say.
In my office at Yale I have a framed copy of Mad Magazine that once I used in an exhibition at SITE Santa Fe. The particular strip—it’s a two-page spread—reproduces a hypothetical scene from The Lone Ranger in which the Lone Ranger and Tonto are surrounded by a band of warlike Indians. The Lone Ranger says, “Looks like we’re in trouble, Tonto.” To which his sidekick replies, “What do you mean, we, kemosabe?”
That’s Postmodernism avant la lettre. Low stealing a critical march on High. There, in a nutshell, you have the problem of the pronoun before Barbara Kruger started to mine that field and plant more explosive charges. It is an example of how many of the thoughts that we take for granted as somehow being accomplishments of Postmodernism have actually been blowing in the wind for a long time—as part of continuously developing dialogue about the obvious but habitually ignored contradictions that are embedded in our language, culture, and society. If you want to delve deeper into such things, allow me to note that as much of an admirer of Roland Barthes as I am—and I have learned a great deal from him and honor him for what he has given me—I am an equally great admirer of Oscar Wilde. His views on “The Critic as Artist” and “The Artist as Critic” were set forth seventy or eighty years in advance Barthes’s, and Wilde’s bantering practice of negative dialectic is far more entertaining and effective than the scholastic versions of those same ideas that pervade classrooms and conferences nowadays.
However, in keeping with critical theory according to Mad, I will be cautious in my use of collective terminology or pronouns. And so I will begin this brief exercise in intramural deconstruction with the question “Who’s ‘we’?”—or, better perhaps, “Whose ‘we’?”—precisely to raise the question of whether “you” want to count yourself in or count yourself out with respect to what I have to say. In the simplest terms, what I mean by the “art world” is the combination of professional and semiprofessional realities and relationships amidst which we—and I do mean all of us—do our work as artists, critics, curators, scholars, teachers, and administrators. Some of us do all those things together. Some of us do them separately or sequentially. The lucky ones are those who only have to do one at a time, which, like most lucky things, is rare. By “art community,” I want to point toward a set of elective affinities that we establish with others who are similarly dedicated to art without regard to anyone’s official designation or career status.
Among the things that strongly attracted me to the art world when I first arrived on the scene—my initial exposure to New York dates to the late 1960s and was renewed in the late 1970s and early 1980s—was that you could meet virtually anybody just by showing up. At one loft party in 1968 I met Claes and Patty Oldenburg, Lee Krasner, Christo and Jean-Claude, George Segal, and Jasper Johns. At another in 1978 I met Ana Mendieta and Carl Andre, and at another in 1980s—if memory serves—Nancy Spero and Leon Golub, David Wojnarowicz, Julie Ault, and Irving Petlin. The distinctions among people were not hard and fast, and the hierarchies in which they operated were surprisingly fluid in many though by no means all ways. Of course glass ceilings were everywhere, but on the whole people didn’t care a whole lot about who you were “officially”—they cared about what kind of energy you brought to the occasion. Bringing energy was your passport to being part of the art community because despite the constant commotion, the art world never has enough. Certainly never enough of the positive kinds.
For what it is worth, I’ve held professional positions in all the categories named above. But like many others here in this room, and many of the people that I have worked with over the years, I’ve also made my living at a host of jobs that have absolutely no standing whatsoever. Things like Sheetrocking, art handling, catering, and the like. For many years, I was a librarian and bookseller. Most of my education comes from the things I read while hiding in the stacks, browsing the shelves when floor-walking to prevent theft, or tending the cash register with one eye out for customers and one on the book tucked in my lap. By now I have worked at just about every level of what we routinely call the Culture Industry.
Now, I have always been very leery of that term—Culture Industry. Mostly I dislike it when it is used with glib pessimism or thinly veiled condescension by people who have never worked for any other industry. People who, adding insult to injury, persist in thinking that they are the saving remnant of unalienated labor and uncompromised criticality exempt from the challenges and delusions facing the rest of us who toil in ignorance for the sake making a living, if not in some state of schizophrenic Late Capitalist delirium. I’ve always assumed that working for a living was just something you had to do; it’s how you paid for the doing the work you wanted to do. Furthermore, I believed—and still believe—that well-chosen work that takes skill and requires ingenuity but isn’t too time consuming was preferable to an exalted career that was stultifying and time wasting. In sum, that an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay at a blue-collar or a white-collar job is pretty much the same thing except for the wages and benefits. Which is to say, it is capitalist business as usual in a society where—alas—there is no socialist alternative. There’s no Ivory Tower either, just an Ivy Covered Mall.
Of course, the truth of the matter is that there is such a thing as the Culture Industry. We all know it, and one way or another all of us are, perforce, “cultural industrialists.” Some of us are in positions of authority; others work for others those who command and are delegated power by them. None of us is immune from the compromises inherent in such affiliations—and none of us is entirely innocent of the offenses committed by the Culture Industry as a whole. Standing altogether outside it is not something that any of us can plausibly claim to be doing, not if we play an active role in the systems that “produce” culture and especially not if we enjoy the perquisites of that system. Correspondingly, one appreciates the candor of people who frankly admit that they are inside it, people who identify as best they can their actual place in the system and are straightforward about the tradeoffs they have made to arrive in it and make the best of their advantages. People, moreover, who try to be as honest as possible in judging others with respect to the problems and privileges they too have chosen to make their own and the charges that might conceivably be leveled against them as well.
Now, when I say “we” with regard to having made the art world what it has become, I mean my generation, more or less: the baby boomers and their younger siblings. We have come of age rising to positions of power that we once vigorously protested. Having done so, we are subject and should be subject to protest. With that in mind I keep a porcelain statuette from the Chinese Cultural Revolution nearby, a statuette of a professor on his knees wearing a dunce cap with an righteously accusatory member of the Red Guard standing behind him. In reality the mass hysteria of the Little Red Book of which I caught a distant glimpse in those days was not a laughing matter. But gallows humor has its merits, and I know that such a comeuppance remains a possibility—because we have in fact become the “figures of authority” we once considered our perpetual enemies. The jury is still out on whether we have also become the “ciphers of regression” we took them to be, but inasmuch as it is supposed to be a jury of our peers we should be careful that it is not packed in ways that make self-criticism a pro forma ritual and all other judgments those of an ideologically dogmatic kangaroo court. In any event there’s no doubt that the outstanding question is: “Have we actually done better at playing our part in a system we have chosen to enter than our predecessors did, or have we failed to do better than they did or even as well as we could.”
Those who are much younger than I have ample reason to dissociate themselves from this part of what I have to say, and to complain that they have inherited a situation for which they should not be held responsible. Indeed they are not responsible. In fact, that situation may have scant place for them at all, either in the near term or the long term, and even then only room at the very top or very bottom and in the margins but little if any at the core. It’s an art world that was built during a time of enormous prosperity—and also of cultural myopia and self-centeredness. The important thing we must come so terms with—and here again I am speaking of all of us, young and old, inside as well as outside the magic circle—is that the old art world has run its course. It’s over, a thing of the past, and all of us know it. Whatever comes next will not be another iteration of the “postwar modernist” or “postwar postmodernist” model of an art world, nor an improvement on it extrapolated from it. It will, and must be, fundamentally different. In almost all cases in which the arc of a great empire reaches its apogee and turns downward—which is not the same thing as beginning a long inevitable slide into decadence, although such definitive decline is always a possibility—the diminution of momentum and influence that results rattles many and affects absolutely everyone. In “our” own art world we are experiencing such a diminution of growth and influence—and in many locales a sharp contraction of opportunity in relation to the supply of aspirants—even as we are simultaneously witnessing the unanticipated proliferation, expansion, and diversification of other art worlds.
One of the best tests of how serious people are in their cultural politics is whether, under these circumstances, they cling to their privileges—claiming that they, among all people, are entitled to them, whereas those other people are not—or whether they begin to reexamine those privileges and begin to consider what new social contracts need to be written, what new professional standards need to be set and observed.
As I indicated at the outset, there are a lot of problems with Adorno’s way of characterizing the Culture Industry and those who labor in it, partly because he, as a scholar and semiprofessional composer, was immensely uncomfortable with the fact that others made their money from their cultural production. He didn’t like jazz because he saw it as being a form entirely subordinate to the demand for commercial entertainment. But aside from being inexplicably incurious and insensitive—not to say knuckleheaded and tone deaf—not liking jazz in the 1930s and 1940s was in one way or another enmeshed in cultural prejudice against the people who made it—mostly blacks. In that respect avant-garde “purism” wasn’t all that much better than the reactionary populism of the period. In sum Adorno’s conception of music and of modernism generally could not have been more elitist in its fashion, even though the cause in which it was ostensibly being put forward was Marxism. Looking backward, the whole situation makes one wonder how Robert Farris Thompson would have handled Adorno’s condescension toward Afrocentric genres. For starters, perhaps, by dancing circles around his rhythmically challenged professorial counterpart. Meanwhile, looking backward and forward as well as at the present, we know that few if any of Adorno’s disciples in the art-historical guilds have written extensively—if at all—about African or African American art.
Such biases and blind spots are prevalent and problematic in much of the cultural heritage of the Frankfurt School, which, for all its positive contributions, was undeniably Eurocentric to a fault. We should be grateful for those who did not propagate or suffer such ingrained attitudes, but we should never forget that a good deal of critical theory was tainted by them—and still is. Meanwhile, Adorno’s “jazz problem” is a class problem as well as an ethnic one. Like many academicians, he implicitly as well as explicitly looked down on those who made art to sell art, and his complaint against jazz bespoke that contempt. Yet artists—at least those who have galleries—understand that if they are to continue to develop their work, they must find a market for it. And they must maintain that market in all the ways required by their industry. I don’t scorn those who have a salaried teaching job—I have one too—but it is all too easy for somebody with such a guaranteed income to “tut-tut-tut” about people who work with their hands as well as their minds, all too easy to bemoan the supposed commercialism of those in other economic sectors in which deals are made—as if professors in a position to do so don’t negotiate hard for salaries and benefits—and to scold people who are unapologetically merchants and actively “move the merch”—as if scholars didn’t keep a fairly exact count of their number of publications.
Unfortunately, though, it happens a lot. The awkward fact of the matter is that art has always sold for money. Art has always been involved in social strivings. Art has always been involved in patronage. Not long ago I was in India, where I visited the caves at Elephanta, and a guide pointed out to me that underneath one of the transcendent carved Hindu figures was an inscription naming the person who paid for it. Of course in Renaissance paintings we frequently see donors on their hands and knees in front of crowded nativity scenes, donors put there at their own request by the artist in order to be remembered for having paid for the picture. Still, the cry of “Oh my God, there’s gambling going on in Rick’s Café” echoes throughout an awful lot of cultural criticism, and it tells us that those who have just made this shocking discovery—or have suddenly chosen to be theatrically shocked by something they noticed a while back—have not been thinking historically about the fact that there’s always been gambling going on in Rick’s Café. The pertinent questions are: “ Who owns the casino? Who’s playing? What’s the ante to get into the game, and what are the stakes if you want to stay? Are the tables level? Are the cards stacked? Who wins? Who loses? What do those who walk away with the pot do with it?” In this context, one is better off reading Fyodor Dostoyevsky or tough-guy detective stories than Karl Marx.
In any case, when I started out I was naïve to the extent that I did not have a clear idea about what I wanted or how I was going to survive. Like many of you, I had my studio practice. And, like many of you, I also had other things on the side. To keep moving toward my vague goals and make ends meet while I sharpened my focus I lived “betwixt and between” for a very long time. I was thirty-nine years old before I got my first tenure-track teaching job. I was forty before I ever worked in a museum. Up until this time, everything I managed to do was catch-as-catch-can. Now many if not most of my students, be they artists or art historians, find themselves in a similar situation but in a very different world. Because things aren’t going to break for them the way they used to—they way they did for me. Many of those who teach are essentially destined to be eternal adjunct professors. My sister, who is a social historian, was an adjunct professor at a university in Canada until she was in her late forties, and only got a tenure-track job and finally tenure past the age when most people would have thrown in the towel. There are many others in our fields who have been in her situation and who never succeed in finding any degree of security or recognition.
Robert Storr (photograph by Bradley Marks)
Nevertheless when I started out knowing what I wanted to do in general terms but not knowing how I was going to support myself, I did not have great expectations. I certainly never imagined that I would ever live in a lavish way, not that I do even now. I’m utterly surprised that I have had the jobs that I’ve had and the financial security that I have. (Many friends do not.) Maybe some of the people who gave them to me are surprised, too! In any case, I am grateful for my situation and have never felt that it was owed to me. What I aspired to was to spend my life, or as much of it as I could manage, doing the thing that interested me most. And, as I stated before, in support of that ambition I planned to do work that took the least away from me and gave the most back to my primary concern. That was the prospect in the 1970s. It seemed to be a reasonable way to go about things.
Having said all of that, I am now in a world—we are now in a world—and by “we” I mean all of us in this room—in which that way of going at things—simply launching yourself based on a series of part-time jobs in order to do in your spare time what you want to do—is the longest of long shots and may be all but impossible. We all know that one can no longer support oneself—much less other people if one has them in one’s life—on part-time jobs. The generation of postwar artists to which this year’s awardee Ellsworth Kelly belongs could rent a studio for $100 or $200 a month and get a lot of space. And they could pay for it by carpentry, art handling, bartending, paste-up, and other such things—and still have three, four, or even five days a week left over for themselves. Those days are behind us.
The same thing is true for people entering the Culture Industry on the art-historical side of the equation, as academics, museum workers, and so on. If you’re going to teach part time at three, four, or even five different places as I once did—one course here, one course there, up and down the Eastern Seaboard, back and forth from the Midwest to the West—in most cases you still can’t make enough to survive decently for very long and, given the stress of such employment, you won’t be able to produce much if any serious scholarly work. So we’ve reached a point in which even the most intense drive to do something smacks right up against the possibility that one may never be able to do it at all, or not very well, throughout an entire “career,” much less follow a career path that proceeds in a rational, predictable fashion from one stage to the next in the manner Allan Kaprow more or less predicted would become norm for artists in the 1960s when he wrote his brilliant polemic against the old bohemia, “The Artist as a Man of the World.”
Times are not good. They have not been good for quite some while—and they’re not going to get better any time soon, if ever. The dire budget cuts currently taking place in the California educational system were mentioned earlier today—Kaprow taught at UC San Diego for many years—and California was the national model for the support of teaching the arts in state colleges and universities. So that situation is an ominous bellwether of what is to come in more vulnerable systems. I work at Yale University, which is one of the richest universities in this country, and I can tell you that as the dean of the School of Arts I have had to impose sharp budget cuts for five years running. So far we have been able to protect student aid and faculty positions and salaries. Everything else—down to pencil counting, literally—has seen reductions. It’s not going to get any better for quite a while. We’re making a concerted effort to raise money and with some success we’ll try to ride out the storm with as little damage as possible. But the days one could take resources more or less for granted and ignore the looming long-term future of the institutions in which we work are over. And the days when faculty and students could blithely expect somebody else to mind the store so that they could do exactly as they wished without a thought to the economic realities in their corner of the Culture Industry are over as well.
Respect for people who hold institutions together is as important as respect for people who build them. The “avant-garde” entrepreneurs who created the great alternative-space system in this country are extraordinary in every way. But the people who manage to operate creatively within big Behemoths—be it Yale or MoMA or the California system or wherever it is—and who hold those institutions together in fair-minded and aesthetically forward-looking ways year in and year out, from budget cut to budget cut, also represent a force for good in our community, although one that is not much recognized or honored. I’m not speaking about myself—I’ve had more than enough attention. I’m pleading for some of the people mentioned earlier in today’s proceedings, some of the people with whom I worked closely and who, as Rodney Dangerfield said, “can’t get no respect,” at least not in quarter where “institutions” are viewed monolithically.
Indeed, one of the principles failings of what passes for “institutional critique” is an inability or unwillingness to address specifics and a penchant for sweeping generalizations that too often brush aside inconvenient historical facts, anomalies, and counterexamples—not least of them the instances in which professionals inside museums, foundations, and universities have fought the good fight and occasionally won it. As someone who has worked in the Behemoths of which I spoke just now, I am an ardent advocate of institutional critique. But institutional critique should “start at home”—as an “inside job”—and what I am trying to do is to foster one in our world, of our sector of the Culture Industry. During most of the last twenty-five years, when the topic has come up, the institutions being critiqued are The Market and The Museum. What has not happened is an institutional critique of the educational system that feeds into the market and museum sectors. That system is the third leg of the stool that holds the art world together and on which the art community sits. On the whole we have evaded examining ourselves too closely, avoided parsing the contradictions of our own positions and responsibilities in too much detail. There’s not been much in the way of an autocritique—and certainly not a Maoist but not even a coherent Marxist one—among academics in this period of time, though many academics subscribe to Marxist ways of thinking. And whenever the issue arises, finger-pointing and evasion begins—because people don’t want the scrutiny. They don’t really want to be told that they are not entitled to many of the things they have come to expect. They don’t want to hear that the things they have come to expect may actually be taken away from them because these things cannot be sustained after all, and that sustaining the essential parts of institutions sometimes requires doing without something one has become accustomed to. Something that may be taken away not by some terrible specter of reaction, though they abound and I am not making excuses for their false economies, but by thoughtful people trying to make the best of a bad turn of events. (In the Academy, crying wolf and making gross comparisons between our troubles and Germany under Adolf Hitler or Italy under Benito Mussolini is frequently the first line of denial when it comes to realities that have shifted beyond anyone’s ability to prevent their shifting.) In practice institutional critique may mean radically resetting or staunchly reaffirming priorities—at a cost. It may mean that a basic, long-haul redistribution of shrinking rather than expanding resources is the business at hand. It means doing that in a manner that is responsible and fair but above all one that is consistent with the fundamental purposes of that institution as well as consistent with the promises implicitly or explicitly made to those who enroll in them and those who work for them. So far as universities are concerned those questions also include the working conditions of those who staff them, which, to a large extent, means relatively recent graduates of the system. How long can American schools maintain their current levels of excellence based on underpaid adjuncts that serve year in and year out, without ever having a realistic chance of rising above their entry-level status? How long can they continue to hand out diplomas without fully informing students of the long odds of their finding ultimately employment in their field? The allocation of labor in the educational system resembles migrant farm labor in far too many respects, and it’s been that way for a long time.
When I talk about “we” who must address these issues in this particular set of circumstances, I am, as I said, talking about the people of my generation. But this “we” has to be subdivided in some important ways. The “we” I am speaking was once overwhelmingly composed of people like me, white Anglo-Saxon Protestant males. It took a scandalously long time for other “we’s”—women, people of color—to break into the monochrome, monogendered, and for that matter predominantly straight art world. And “we” should not pat ourselves on the back for the progress that “we” have all too slowly made because the work is far from done. For example, the Yale School of Art, which has graduated artists of color in appreciable numbers since the 1960s—from Howardena Pindell and Martin Puryear to Kehinde Wiley, Mickalene Thomas, and Wangechi Mutu—but when I became dean there was only one artist of color in a tenured faculty position in the School of Art: Robert Reed, who teaches there still. That had been the situation since the early 1960s when he was hired. Which makes it obvious that none of the discussion of “diversity” since before the deaths of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X had any effect on the actual representation of African Americans at one of the leading universities in a heavily black North American city. Meanwhile, in 1990 Sheila Levrant de Bretteville was the first tenured female faculty member to be hired at Yale, and due to the paucity of available positions she remains one of only two women with tenure. An equivalent dearth of people of color has prevailed at MoMA, where the only ranking curator of African descent from the 1960s into the new millennium was Kynaston McShine.
I mention these statistics because despite the prevalent talk about a postracial, postsexist society, they describe the abidingly conservative reality within nominally liberal institutions. Inaction does speak louder than words! Institutional critique under such circumstances means more than adding courses on The Other and The Subaltern or exposing the inconsistencies and failures of other parts of the system; it means analyzing our own inconsistencies and failures and then taking appropriate corrective action. Theory without praxis, as thinkers from Aristotle to Marx will tell you, is doomed to failure. It also condemns the disengaged theorist to self-incriminating disclaimers.
A while back Adrian Piper told me that she once asked Rosalind Krauss why she hadn’t written on any artists of color, and Krauss answered that she would if she could identify one of sufficient “quality.” Sound familiar? Like the neocons Clement Greenberg or Hilton Kramer? In any case I don’t believe Krauss has yet found what she was looking for. Indeed Art since 1900—a textbook edited by Krauss, Foster, Yve-Alain Bois, and Benjamin Buchloh—contains two chapters on artists of color, both of which were farmed out to an adjunct member of the team. So far as I know, these chapters were the only ones handled in that manner suggesting that even when the “discourse of The Other” gets its due as “metacritique,” actually paying attention to others is still considered a distraction from the main events of art history.
The other side of the coin of correcting the longstanding exclusivity of “we” is, of course, that once women, people of color, and others who have been kept out of the power structure are finally brought into it, they will join the “we” that has problems to address besides those which may have been partially ameliorated. I would like to mention a few in particular. As I look at the last twenty-five years in this field—by “this field” I now mean the whole of it, whether it is classes taught in art schools or classes taught in art-history departments—I am repeatedly struck by a set of phenomena we usually identify with the financial sector. If we’re going to engage in institutional critique, there’s no way of sidestepping it in our own. Because know without any doubt that spasms of inflation and deflation threaten the world economy, and we know that derivatives aplenty were created out of thin air, resulting in untold risks to the value of everything. We know that dubious financial schemes and absurd social and political propositions were sold to the general public based on predictions that things would turn out a certain way with little regard for what would happen if they didn’t. We know that our entire economy nearly collapsed because of the misuse of abstract ideas and the career-making, brand-building flogging of bogus ideological products.
The same thing has happened in our world, and the potential consequences are equally severe. In the academy we have witnessed the spawning of all manner of theoretical derivatives, that is to say, highly attenuated versions of once-compelling ideas. We have rogue hedge funders too, in other words, speculators who predict one outcome but then as a matter of caution or cynicism bet against the thing that they just predicted. Divided between Utopians convinced that sooner or later the Revolution will sweep away the mess we’re in, and Dystopians who are just as sure that tomorrow we’ll become Nazi Germany—they are nevertheless at pains to secure their institutional futures as if the sky were the limit and there were no clouds on the horizon. As in the financial sector we have heard old “common sense” laws being pooh-poohed, and all manner of generalizations built on suppositions that have not been, and frequently cannot be, proved or disproved. Did a given prediction come true? How might we find out? Even asking such questions calls down the accusation that one is stuck in old ways of thinking or, worse, crudely anti-intellectual.
As a result we have a several generations of students who run around referring to historical paradigms and using ideological catch phrases in the studio or outside the studio, in seminars or outside seminars, with little if any idea of what those paradigms or phrases actually signify. If I’m not mistaken, Ernest Mandel—a Belgian Marxist whose lectures I attended and whose ideas I take seriously (though no longer trust)—was the first person to develop an extended model of Late Capitalism, although there were cranks like Lyndon LaRouche who did as well. Parenthetically, at this juncture I’d venture that at its best critical theory has been a useful analytic tool, though never a useful political tool, but all too often it has been the basis for a genre of what one might call Social Science Fiction—the artistically conservative Jean Baudrillard, being one of its exemplars—with the likes of Larouche and other ideological cultists being the Scientologists of the imploded radicalism of the generation of ‘68.
In any case Late Capitalism, whatever it may have been for Mandel, has not turned out as he predicted it would. Indeed, Frederic Jameson and others influenced by Mandel have backed away from the term, but still it remains part of the catechism of critical theory. In any case, rather than capitalism’s “lateness,” which I take to mean its immanent decline or failure, we are confronted with rampant, astonishingly adaptable capitalism, in particular novel state capitalisms of every description developing in countries that were formerly socialist. I suppose that one could argue that this is just one of the stages along the way to what Mandel and others predicted, but there’s not much to go on in these theories regarding when we will know that we have in fact reached capitalism’s next and “final” stage. Instead of living through the era Late Capitalism, we’re living through that of Late Socialism, and while I take absolutely no comfort in this fact, what I’m trying to say is that using simultaneous vague and grandiose terms of this kind as general descriptions of a complex set of social and economic relationships that condition how culture changes, how it’s disseminated, and how it’s thought about does no good at all and may do a fair amount of harm to the young people trying to figure things out for themselves.
If you have a student who hands you a paper or presents you with a picture and says, “And this is about late capitalism,” the obvious question is, “Well, what do you mean by that?” Of course, most students don’t know because most of them have been taught by professors who bandy about such ideas without having grounded them in economics or history with the rigor that scholars in those fields would require. Most students don’t know how to begin to teach themselves because the history of these ideas has actually been obscured, kept away from them—because the level of abstraction common in art schools and art-history departments has been kept so high, and the game of keep-away has been so perfectly manipulated by a wink and a nod among primary users of these ideas who have no desire to be called to account, that if anybody really asks the stump-the-teacher questions—“What do you mean by that and what examples can you offer? Did the thing you say was going to come about actually happen?”—they are met with silence or with a barrage of obfuscation and brow beating. For obvious reasons, though, such moments seldom come. Students and skeptical colleagues have been too intimidated by the claims of those who introduced these counterfeit notions and built their reputations on their derivatives. Nobody so far as I know repealed the laws of gravity. And nobody repealed the laws of supply and demand. Instead, the antiempirical practices of economic fantasists nearly brought us to our knees: men and women who believe in Ayn Rand the way others once believed in Mao. Critical theorists are playing for smaller stakes, but calling their bluff can amount to the same thing.
Remember the days when it was the Republicans who said, “You are unfortunately a fact-based constituency, and we’re in a brave new world.” I have heard some of my colleagues say, “You are a crude positivist because you ask questions about matters of fact.” Now, I am the son, brother, and brother-in-law of historians. I learned social scientific methods from Marc Bloch to Fernand Braudel at the dinner table. I have a fairly clear idea of what the pertinent historical methodologies—plural!—are, and what their value can be. But so much of what we do or see being done in our field nowadays is not art history at all; it’s ideological historicism. It’s the comparison of one situation to another without regard for obvious differences of moment, of social, cultural, economic, and political setting, of the disparity between aims and outcomes, what should have happened and what did, and without any requirement that theories or speculations be checked against evidence.
Robert Storr (photograph by Bradley Marks)
For example, in the 1980s it was an article of faith in certain quarters that Neoexpressionism signaled a slide into crypto-Nazi barbarism. Moreover, this canard is alive and well in articles and textbooks that fill the bibliographies of courses and seminars. Now, let’s get real! Ronald Reagan was not my cup of tea at all—but he was not Hitler. And Julian Schnabel is not my cup of tea either, though he has made some images I can’t forget and will get credit from me for that—but he is not remotely the equivalent of the painters officially favored by Hitler, whose taste was narrower than that of most Fascists and who mounted the famous Degenerate Art exhibition to condemn Expressionism even when practiced by Nazi fellow travellers like Karl Schmidt-Rotluff and Emil Nolde. Since we’re among art historians, we should be clear while we are at it, that during the 1920s and 1930s the aesthetic Left and Right were easily confused because members of the avant-garde and the arrière-garde kept switching sides and because, apart from Hitler, neither the Right (Fascism) nor the Left (much of Stalinism) had a consistent party-line aesthetic until late in the day. During the 1970s and 1980s things were tidied up by critics eager to rewrite history in the image of their prescriptive norms. In their hands abstraction became ipso facto “progressive” and figuration ipso facto “regressive,” with scant room for nuance. The thing that went unmentioned is that while a large number of figurative painters were on the Right, although by no means all were Fascists, an equal number were on the Left—in Germany, France, the USSR, England, Mexico, Brazil, the United States, etc.—many of them actively so. Meanwhile, a good many of the Futurists, who were, generally speaking, abstract artists, were actively Fascists while as a rule the figurative Metaphysical painters—although backward looking—were not.
In other words, the caricature that skewed art history in the early 1980s was a polemic, but it was a polemic authored by an art historian based on historical examples that were patently false. Why do I mention this? Because, as I mentioned before, those articles are assigned and read today. Because those terms and those examples are used and cited today. Because the abstract, conceptual, and other “neo-avant-gardes” of the 1970s who recoiled in horror at a stylistic sea change and the advent of new generation, creating an overtly distorted “history” for strategic ends. Because when my students in art history or studio programs repeat these falsehood one doesn’t know where to begin to disabuse them, how to disentangle the snarl of conclusions drawn from those dogmas. Because these falsehood are the official opinion of very large parts of our community, and a few if any of those who have disseminated them—and many hold high posts in the academic establishment—have any interest whatsoever in recanting or revising those views, or even just modestly saying “Oops!” Evidently “theorizing” means never having to say you’re sorry.
Lest this sound too sweeping on my part, let me say that T. J. Clark, with whom I disagree on some issues, is an art historian I greatly respect and from whom I’ve learned much. So too was Meyer Schapiro, whom I knew and about whom I wrote. Thanks to him Marxist art history in this country flourished in many influential ways; thanks to him as well psychoanalysis and semiotics entered the field in similarly rigorous and thoughtful ways. I also knew and admired Leo Steinberg, whose work I reread regularly. It is possible to be engaged with all of those thinkers and yet dissent from the uses if not misuses to which their work has been put by people who eagerly seek to legitimize their work by association but who cannot hold a candle to them.
Now let’s consider the matter of predictions. Remember when painting was declared obsolete and photography was held up as superior to it, because as a multiple photography used more modern technology and as a multiple was less subject to commodity fetishism? Tell that to Andreas Gursky, and when you’re done ask Schnabel if his work has ever sold at auction for a price approximating what Gursky gets for a single print from of one of his many editions. Remember the end of the museum? Now an awful lot of the people who were involved in that “discourse” are regulars on museum panels, and quite a few found themselves museum jobs. Indeed, it would seem they always aspired to jobs in museums but while waiting to be tapped they threw stones at the glass house they hoped to inhabit—maybe just to get attention. As a young critic I too did my fair share of criticizing museums—as Larry Rivers and Frank O’Hara long ago pointed out, it goes with the territory—but I never intended to work in one and turned down a MoMA job when Kirk Varnedoe first offered it to me, never expecting to be asked again. When asked a second time and after canvasing artist friends about whether to accept the offer—Félix González-Torres’s encouragement was the decisive vote—I discovered that museums are pretty interesting places to work after all. I also discovered that some of the most radical people around were actually working in museums already. By which I mean people who made substantial change happen while others just talked about it. Barbara London, for one example; Deborah Wye, for another. Both were long-term curators at the Modern who had without fanfare opened its doors to new media, new artists, and cultural diversity. So I applaud dissenters going into museums, just as I respect radicals who teach, because I look forward to having colleagues both inside and outside institutions with whom to work on the project of changing them—because if you have alliances across that membrane, you can do remarkable things
Nevertheless we keep hearing the same the screed that The Museum is inherently the enemy of art, that The Museum is inherently the toy of the rich—as if everyone with wealth was of the same opinion about culture and politics, which I can assure is not the case—that The Museum is inherently inhabited by lackeys of the Cultural Industry whose only agenda is to advance their careers and the special interests of those who hire them. Well, I am not going to say that museums aren’t in trouble—they are. I use the plural because they are not all the same, in mission, in history, in location and hinterland, in resources, or in flaws. But individual agency and collective action can make and has made a difference. At times dissent compels one to break ranks. I am doing that here in the academic world. And at times one must step away to make change. On the same score I think I am safe in saying that I’m the only person in this room who has walked away from a senior curatorship at the Museum of Modern Art because I didn’t think I could do the job under the current administration the way it needs to be done. I am not boasting, but sometimes “institutional critique” requires taking actions that have painful consequences.
On to other things: whose opinions does one take seriously? About two weeks ago, I was invited to a restaurant in Paris by friends, who had also invited Alain Badiou. I’d read some of his writing and we had an pleasant conversation—or rather I listened to him expound in a bonhomous way, mostly about very old Leftist ideas, and we ate a couple of rich steak frites with good red wine. And as the talk of revolution proceeded I was reminded, as I have been before, of a passage in Gustave Flaubert’s Sentimental Education in which he describes how the radical nature of the post-1848 generation was ruined by rhetoric and good dinners. About ten years ago I had lunch with Paul Virilio, during which I listened as he spoke marvelously about megalopolis and terrorism. I was captivated, as one can easily be, by his carefree theory spinning and his elegant turns of phrase. Indeed, his gift for juggling words and ideas is really very suggestive, and there are uses for that kind of thing. But then after he’d been talking about the modern city for a hour or more I said, “Listen, Paul, when you’re next in New York, would you look me up?” At which point the man who was our host said, “You know, he’s never been to New York. He doesn’t fly.” Which means he’s also not been to Mexico City, São Paulo, Tokyo, Mumbai, Beijing, or Los Angeles. Yet he is an expert on megalopolis.
Many years ago, Ezra Pound wrote in his ABC of Reading that generalizations are checks written against the bank of knowledge. The question always is: what is there to back them up with? Criticism has been kiting checks in our world for the last quarter century. It’s time, I think, to send the collection agency around and ask what is behind some of these generalizations. Not in order to destroy the fundamental points being made by the people that have bounced so many theoretical checks—often their ostensible aims are legitimate—but to make those points better, to make them work, to intellectually restore the currency we use.
The radical impetus behind much critical theory is inarguable and positive, but that positive impetus has been corrupted by cavalier if not frankly dishonest casuistry, and above all by historically untethered interpretation of the key concepts. There is also a dark side to such practices. Slavoj Žižek is all over the place, talking up the marvels of revolutionary violence and political terror. But this is sinister sophistry in a world in which bloody terror is practiced with equal callousness by insurgents and by states that could not care less about Jacobin discourse. Once again, as in the 1960s and 1970s, we are reliving the cycle that goes from idealism to terror, from Ban the Bomb to the Red Army Faction, from the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee to the Symbionese Liberation Army. In that context it is highly problematic that Žižek should be held up as an intellectual hero encouraging people to be bravely destructive, following examples set in distant historical circumstances—Maximilien de Robespierre and the French Revolution, Leon Trotsky and the Russian Revolution—without really taking responsibility for how this resonates with people who live in places where terrorism has become a harsh reality and where the responses to terrorism, to the hysterical counterterrorists, are equally dangerous to us all.
Going back to art history proper—and reflecting on all the places where Virilio has not been but where a good many of us have been—we need a whole new generation of scholars ready to write serious critical, analytical, synthetic, even narrative art histories about what happened in Mumbai, what happened in Johannesburg, and what happened in a host of places where there had been active art worlds for over a century, or at least a for “short century.” The Latin American art world is as old as ours. The year 1913 is the date of the Armory Show that kicked off modernism in this country; if I’m not mistaken the Week of Modern Art in 1917 did the same in Brazil. Yet there really isn’t a readily available, thoroughly integrated history of art for our students that has both of these developments running side by side as it moves forward to the present, such that the southern and northern hemispheres of this part of the world are treated holistically—not “globally,” as I hate that term, which should be given back to business and the military—and treated across the board as postcolonial history. The United States is a postcolonial country, no less than Brazil is a postcolonial country—or Mexico, Cuba, Peru—no less than all of the Caribbean and all of South America, and no less Canada. My wife is Canadian, and she keeps telling me, “Don’t forget us!” And we shouldn’t. So that when we talk about Georgia O’Keeffe we also think of Emily Carr and Anita Malfatti, not as add-ons to existing histories of the avant-garde in New York and Paris, as has been the custom, and not as women belatedly inserted into the canon to correct its gender bias, although that much needed to be done, but rather as protagonists integral to the story of the origination of modern art worldwide.
Thinking in such cosmopolitan terms isn’t just a backward-looking project. It’s forward looking too—and I address these next remarks to those of you on the studio side. Because, if you are currently an abstract painter and somewhat unsure of whether there’s a place for you in the scheme of things, maybe you should be looking at Argentina, Venezuela, and Brazil, as well as Central Europe, to find aesthetic examples that correspond to your interests, examples that will teach you and challenge you to do more with what you’ve got. Work by artists you’ve not previously heard from but who are every bit a part of the modernist project as those to whom you’ve been overexposed.
In sum, we have a lot to teach that we have not taught, but we have an awful lot more to learn before we even begin to teach. And all of us have to rid ourselves from the presumption that this is merely an adjustment or retrofitting of our existing models. It actually entails fundamental rebuilding of all of them, which requires dismantling them first without becoming fixated on negation as an end in itself. We have to disenthrall ourselves from ideological generalizations that have bedeviled exchange among us and slowed the process of resetting our compasses. We have to wean ourselves for a time from speculative thought as a substitute for actual research. We have to do what Arthur Rimbaud calls for in his prose poem “Adieu,” in A Season in Hell, which recounts his decision to foreswear the intoxicating ether of Symbolism and come back down to earth in order to become “absolutely modern.”
In conclusion, I’m going to read a short passage that I’ve included in a couple of essays and reread often myself, and then end with one short anecdote. It won’t take more than five minutes, so I hope that’s all right. It’s a passage by one of the greatest and most studied modernist critics that, strangely enough, is seldom cited. Maybe once I’ve read it you’ll understand why that’s the case. It’s from Charles Baudelaire’s review of the Salon of 1855. He wrote:
Like all my friends I have tried more than once to lock myself in a system so as to be able to pontificate as I liked.
Parenthetically, think of all the books on all the critical-theory shelves at Saint Mark’s Bookstore, books of which most people who buy them read just a chapter or two, only to move onto the next one, and the next, generally without going the distance in any of them. And generally, without admitting to themselves or anyone that they were just grazing in the first place—no shame in that, I suppose; Walter Benjamin did it but he confessed—until they took up another fashionable idea. Now back to Baudelaire:
But a system is a kind of damnation that condemns us to perpetual backsliding. We are always having to invent another and this is a form of cruel punishment. Every time some spontaneously unexpected product of universal vitality would come and give lie to my puerile and old-fashioned wisdom, much to be deplored daughter of Utopia, in vain did I shift or extend criteria. It could not keep up with universal man.
By the way this is the middle of the nineteenth century, so I’m not going to anachronistically regender his text, but you understand what he’s saying.
It could not keep up with universal man. It was forever chasing multi-form multi-colored beauty that dwells in the infinite spirals of life. Under the threat of being constantly humiliated by another conversion, I took a decision—to escape from the horrors of these philosophic apostasies, I arrogantly resigned myself to modesty. I became content to feel. I came back and sought sanctuary in an impeccable naivete. I humbly beg pardon of the academics of any kind who inhabit the different workshops of our art factory….
Baudelaire wrote this a hundred years before Adorno:
for only there has my philosophic conscience found rest, and at least I can now declare insofar as a man can answer for his virtues that my mind now enjoys a more abundant impartiality.
Miwon Kwon just spoke about the book that won her an award here today and explained that she had embarked naïvely on a project that bore enormous fruit. I’ve read parts of her book, and it is indeed an example of what rigorous thinking can actually accomplish. But that initial spark of naïveté is the essential element. Or as Sol LeWitt said in “Sentences on Conceptual Art,” the first step in the process is to make a leap of faith—which in his view qualified Conceptual artists as mystics. That said all subsequent steps must be rigorous and methodical. Making art that way is not highly touted these days, and that idea of thinking critically about art in such a manner is even less so. So let me end with a brief story, and I hope I don’t embarrass the colleague about whom I am speaking in doing so.
When I was at the Institute of Fine Arts, I was befriended by Günter Kopcke. Günter is an old-school German scholar of the classical antiquity, a remarkably erudite man who in addition to his study of ancient art has maintained an active interest in contemporary art. It was he who gave me copies of the catalogues from the second installment of Documenta in 1959. I had been looking for them and said so. He had them but didn’t want them anymore and just handed over these treasures to me. It was an act of great kindness and solidarity. Günter and I had lunch from time to time, and once he seemed pretty depressed. He was very worried about the institute, he was worried about the field, but mostly he was worried about his research. I could feel a kind of melancholy taking hold of him, and I was really quite concerned about what might happen, what would he do.
Later he came to me greatly cheered up and said that he had concluded that he was stuck. He didn’t have a hypothesis or project to pursue. He didn’t know what he wanted. So he decided to use his upcoming sabbatical to go to the Acropolis and walk the grounds from end to end until an idea came to him. His plan was no plan, beyond returning to the place he had studied for most of his life, a place about which he knew the literature better probably than anybody, in all the languages that he speaks. As learned, as thoughtful, and as subtle a man as he could possibly be, he elected to go unburdened by any expectations in order to reconnect with something that had once inspired him. It was a Baudelarian wager. And it worked.
I think basically we’re at that stage again in a lot of fields. I think a lot of us need to just set down all the things we think we know, all the books we have read, all the pictures we have seen, all of the formulations we have perfected for lectures—by the way, I’m getting out of the lecture business, so you’ll be glad to know this is one of my last—and begin to think afresh based on renewed primary experience of something that exists in the world. As in Ellsworth Kelly’s case, it can be a matter of noticing something while looking out the window of a speeding car and wanting to make something from that glimpse—for example the shadow of a half-open garage that you drive by. Or it can be a particular detail of architecture that you realize nobody has ever talked about before. Or it can be an unusual turn of phrase—one of the marvelous things about Leo Steinberg was that he was as avid a reader as he was a looker, and he horded a wealth of verbal gems with a space set aside in his mind for the most memorable nonsense. He read like a writer, not just in order to grasp an argument or find fault with one, but for the inflexions of language, for the pleasures of the text.
In summation all I would simply say is that for a lot of us the work ahead really consists, number one, of taking full responsibility for the fact that “we” have made this corner of “our” art world—not somebody else, not some other generation, not some sociological deus ex machina. “We” have made this art world and, number two, it does not work. And we should never lose sight of the fact that some of the people who have made other parts of the art world are our allies rather than our enemies. There are people in museums I trust more than those I trust in my own field. There are gallerists whom I trust more than people in my own field. My community is made up of people who have reason to trust one another because they have a common interest in making the most of something to which they have decided to dedicate their lives. That many decided to dedicate their lives to that thing before they had any professional or career aspirations or prospects whatsoever. Many are doing it now—a younger generation—after realizing that they have very limited career prospects and few reasons to expect they’re going to make a living out of it. That is where we are, and we need to look at it squarely. We need to be very severe with those who will persist in distracting us ideologically and those who try in vain to persuade us that it’s really up to somebody else to fix it. It’s up to “us.” Thank you.
Alan Gilbert in Marfa, Texas
Alan Gilbert (photograph by Nina Subin)
A poet and a critic, Alan Gilbert has been staff editor of caa.reviews since 2005. He recently spent three weeks in Marfa, Texas, as a Lannan Foundation writer-in-residence. Gilbert is the author of the poetry books The Treatment of Monuments (2012) and Late in the Antenna Fields (2011), as well as a collection of writings on contemporary poetry and art entitled Another Future: Poetry and Art in a Postmodern Twilight (2006). CAA spoke with him recently about his residency experience.
How did the Lannan Foundation residency come about?
The residency is by nomination only, and I was thrilled to receive an email back in January saying I could come any time during the next year for up to eight weeks. I ended up choosing the first three weeks in July.
What did you work on during your residency?
I was able to finish a new manuscript of poems and prepare it to send out to potential publishers.
How does Marfa compare to New York and did it have an effect of your work?
The primary thing I noticed about Marfa was the silence. There are quieter parts of New York, but it’s still difficult to avoid the sounds of sirens, buses, car horns, stereos, neighbors, et cetera. My house and street in Marfa were incredibly quiet. Some afternoons, a car wouldn’t drive by for hours. I’m not sure of the effect it had on my work, but the effect it had on my psyche and physiology felt transformative, especially after living in New York for fifteen years. More mundanely, I had extended, uninterrupted time to write, which can be harder and harder to find.
Did you come to art from poetry? If so, why?
I did come to art from poetry, but I came to both poetry and art from a larger history of the twentieth-century avant-garde, whether literature, art, music, or film. (Stan Brakhage was one of my teachers when I was an undergraduate.) Also, the current critical discourse around contemporary visual art is much more advanced than the one around poetry, and so I was intrigued to figure out what I could learn from it and take back to poetry and other art forms.
How did your reading at the Marfa Book Company on July 13 go?
It was great. It was part of the series of readings given by Lannan residents, and so the audience has an informed and wide-ranging knowledge of contemporary writing. For example, the writer who read two weeks before me was the acclaimed novelist Colson Whitehead.
What was the sense of community, if any, at Marfa? Did you collaborate with anyone or make new contacts?
In fact, the best thing about Marfa is precisely this sense of community. Otherwise, it’s just a tiny, fairly impoverished town (pop. 2,000) in the West Texas desert, three hours from the nearest major airport in El Paso. Of course it also has some great art. The Marfa Book Company owner, Tim Johnson, is incredibly energetic and supportive and widely loved. His partner, Caitlin Murray, who works at the Judd Foundation in Marfa and writes about Donald Judd and his contemporaries, is wonderful. Fairfax Dorn, who cofounded Ballroom Marfa, has an expansive vision for art. Hamilton Fish V, who helped revive The Nation in the 1970s and is a film producer and much more, has a house there. He was great to talk to. There are easily a half dozen other inspired people I could name and spent time with.
What are your future publishing plans?
To find a publisher for the manuscript of poems I finished.
posted by CAA — November 20, 2012
CAA is pleased to announce this year’s recipients of its International Travel Grant Program, generously funded by the Getty Foundation. Twenty art historians, including professors, curators, and artists who teach art history, will attend the upcoming Annual Conference in New York, taking place February 13–16, 2013. This is the second consecutive year that CAA has received a Getty grant to support the program.
In addition to covering travel expenses, hotel accommodations, and per diems, the CAA International Travel Grant Program includes conference registration and a one-year CAA membership. At the conference, the twenty recipients will be paired with hosts, who will introduce them to CAA and to specific colleagues who share their interests. CAA is grateful to the National Committee for the History of Art (NCHA) for its generous support in underwriting the hosts’ expenses. Members of CAA’s International Committee have agreed to serve as hosts, along with representatives from NCHA and CAA’s Board of Directors. This year, the program will begin with a one-day preconference for grant recipients and their hosts in New York on February 12.
The CAA International Travel Grant Program is intended to familiarize international professionals with the Annual Conference program, including the session participation process. CAA accepted applications from art historians, artists who teach art history, and art historians who are museum curators; those from developing countries or from nations not well represented in CAA’s membership were especially encouraged to apply. In September 2012, a jury of CAA members selected the final twenty recipients, whose names, home institutions, and primary areas of scholarly and professional pursuits follow. CAA is delighted by the range of interests and accomplishments of this year’s grant recipients and looks forward to welcoming them in New York.
CAA hopes that this travel-grant program will not only increase international participation in the organization’s activities, but will also expand international networking and the exchange of ideas both during and after the conference. The Getty-funded International Travel Grant Program supplements CAA’s regular program of Annual Conference Travel Grants for graduate students and international artists and scholars.
Joseph Adandé received a PhD in art history from the Université de Paris I, Sorbonne, where he focused on a comparative study of Ashanti stools and the Dahomey royal stools. Since 1986, he has taught art history at the Université d’Abomey-Calavi and at the Institut Supérieur d’Information, de Communication et des Arts (ISICA), at the University of Lomé, Togo. He defended a doctorat d’État in 2012 on “Humor in Traditional and Contemporary African Arts” at the Université de Lomé.
Adandé has taught and lectured in universities in Italy and Germany and served as a resource person for the School of African Heritage in Porto-Novo. He received a fellowship to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to write a book on appliqué cloth in West Africa. Currently active in launching a school of fine arts at his university, Adandé recently obtained a three-month invitation to the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art (INHA) in Paris, France, from September to November 2012.
Priscila Arantes is a cultural critic, curator, professor and director. She has been director and curator of Paço das Artes (State Secretariat of Culture/SP/Brazil) since 2007 and professor at Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo (PUC/SP) (Pontifical Catholic University) since 2002. She received her PhD in communication and semiotics from Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo and conducted postdoctoral research in the Department of Visual Art at the Pennsylvania State University. Between 2007 and 2011 Arantes was associate director of the Museum of Image and Sound in São Paulo, and in 2010 she was a member of the São Paulo Art Biennial’s editorial council of the magazine Polo de Arte Contemporânea. She has published widely about digital aesthetics and also curated exhibitions at Paço das Artes, notably Assim é, se lhe parece, translated as Right You Are! (If You Think So), in 2011 and Projeto 5X5 in 2012. Her research interests include contemporary art, Brazilian and Latin American art, and postcolonial studies.
W. M. P. Sudarshana Bandara
W. M. P. Sudarshana Bandara
W. M. P. Sudarshana Bandara is a lecturer in the Department of Fine Arts, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. Trained as a painter, he received an MPhil in art history in 2009. He is currently pursuing a PhD, exploring how Eastern and Western concepts of art are used in the analysis of modern and postmodern works of art. Bandara is particularly interested in the intersection of art, Marxism, semiotics, and the Indian concept of Rasa.
Bandara teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in fine arts, art history, aesthetics, and criticism. In addition to teaching, he assists and supervises the research work of BA and MPhil students. The author of three academic research books and over twenty research papers, Bandara is also an active painter, exhibiting in solo and group exhibitions in Sri Lanka and internationally.
Marly Joseph Desir
Marly Joseph Desir
Marly Joseph Desir received his PhD in art history from the University of Arts, Haiti. He is a professor at the College La Renaissance, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, specializing in European and American art. As a teacher he uses lectures and multimedia technology to present a rich tapestry of visual information to his students, guiding them through the history of art, connecting historical traditions and practices to techniques through the ages, and linking them to a practical application of these techniques. His most recent publication is “True Art and Pseudo Art: Symbolist Discourse on Autonomy and Value” (2012). Earlier work includes: “Art Ethics: Thomas Kinkade and Contemporary Art” (2011); “National Art from a Local Perspective” (2008); and “Foreign or Native, Perception and Reception of Impressionism in American Art Criticism” (2006). Desir’s research focuses on twentieth-century American history and Byzantine manuscipts from the ninth through fourteenth centuries.
Ding Ning graduated with a PhD degree from Beijing Normal University in 1988. He was the British Council’s postdoctoral fellow at the University of Essex from 1993 to 1994. Before moving to Beijing in 2000, he served as professor and chair of the Department of Art History and Theory, China National Academy of Fine Arts in Hangzhou. He is currently a professor and vice dean at the School of Arts, Peking University.
Ding’s publications include Dimensions of Reception; Psychology of Visual Art; Dimensions of Duration: Toward a Philosophy of Art History; Depth of Art; Fifteen Lectures on Western Art History; and Spectrum of Images: Toward a Cultural Dimension of Visual Arts. He has also translated extensively, including Norman Bryson’s Tradition and Desire: From David to Delacroix and Looking at the Overlooked: Four Essays on Still Life Painting; Douglas Kellner’s Media Culture: Cultural Studies, Identity, and Politics between the Modern and the Postmodern; and David Carrier’s Museum Skepticism: A History of the Display of Art in Public Galleries.
Davor Džalto is a professor of history and theory of art at the Institute for the Study of Culture and Christianity, Belgrade, and the University of Niš. He graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Belgrade in Serbia and received his PhD from the University of Freiburg in Germany. He also conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Münster, also in Germany.
A visiting professor at various European and American universities, Džalto has published four books and over thirty scholarly articles and essays in the field of art history and theory, cultural studies, philosophy, and Orthodox theology. He is also an artist, working in the media of painting, objects, installations, performances and video art. He has exhibited in numerous one-man and group exhibitions in Europe, Asia, and North America.
Richard Gregor is an art historian, curator, and visual art critic who studied at Trnava University and Charles University in Prague. Currently the director of Bratislava Old Town Visual Art Centre, he was previously the chief curator of Nitra Gallery and Bratislava City Gallery. He has also served as a professor of art history and theory at the Academy of Art in Banská Bystrica and as a consultant on gallery issues at the Ministry of Culture of Slovak Republic.
Between 2007 and 2008 and again in 2011, Gregor was the head of the Cultural Department at Bratislava–Old Town City Council. Through his initiative, the Cyprián Majerník Gallery, originally established in 1957, reopened in 2008 as part of the Visual Art Centre. Gregor has curated more than thirty exhibitions in Slovakia and abroad, and has written numerous critical articles and studies in catalogues and books, including Slovak Painting since 1918, published on the official governmental website.
AKM Khademul Haque
AKM Khademul Haque
AKM Khademul Haque is an associate professor of Islamic art and architecture in the Department of Islamic History and Culture, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. After completing his undergraduate and MA degrees from the same department, he joined his alma mater as a lecturer in 1999 and became an assistant professor in 2004. Haque is currently pursuing his PhD from the same institution, researching weaponry and war techniques in medieval Bengal. His interests include the development of Islamic art and architecture internationally.
In 2007, Haque received the Hamad bin Khalifa Fellowship to attend the Second Biennial Conference on Islamic Art, organized by the School of Arts, Virginia Commonwealth University in Doha, Qatar. In 2010, he received the Indranee Roy Memorial Award for presenting the best paper in the Twenty-Sixth Annual Conference of Paschimvanga Itihasa Samsad (West Bengal History Association), held at the University of Calcutta, Kolkata, India.
Musarrat Hasan received an MFA from the Punjab University Lahore, Pakistan, in 1961 and a PhD in art history in 1997. She is a professor, painter, and writer, currently also serving as a member of Provincial Assembly, the highest legislative body of Punjab. In 1972, Hasan established a department of fine arts at the Queen Mary College Lahore. To overcome the language barriers of her students, she translated into Urdu an English-language survey of prehistoric and ancient art, a book based on the college’s curriculum in fine arts.
In 1997 Hasan received her doctorate, publishing her dissertation the following year. All of her five publications since then have been an effort to compile and preserve data about contemporary art in Pakistan. She designed a course of South Asian art for PhD studies in two universities in Lahore and is currently teaching that course at the Punjab University Lahore.
Hlynur Helgason is a practicing artist and philosopher residing in Reykjavík, Iceland. He received a doctorate in media philosophy from the European Graduate School in Switzerland and currently holds the post of assistant professor in art theory at the University of Iceland, Reykjavík.
Helgason’s main topic of research is the temporality of contemporary art, drawing inspiration from the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze, Jean-François Lyotard and Michel de Certeau, among others. His current topics of study include the art of Vito Acconci, Andy Warhol, and Christian Marker, as well as the Icelandic contemporary artists Libia Castro and Ólafur Ólafsson, Níels Hafstein, and Ósk Vilhjálmsdóttir.
Bogdan Teodor Iacob
Bogdan Teodor Iacob
Bogdan Teodor Iacob is the director of the Department for Theoretical Disciplines at the University of Art and Design in Cluj–Napoca, where he teaches art history and contemporary art. Between 2008 and 2011, he served as chancellor of the university. Iacob holds a BA in art history from Babes–Bolyai University in Cluj–Napoca, Romania, and an MA in socioanthropology from the same institution.
In 2011, Iacob obtained a PhD in visual arts with the thesis “From Pathos to Cynicism: The Image of History in Modern and Contemporary Art.” Primarily concerned with contemporary artistic practices, he has lectured and published widely, including the book Offline (2010). His current focus is Romanian art criticism during the Communist era.
Peju Layiwola is a visual artist and art historian working in a variety of media including installation, sculpture, printmaking, and jewellery. She began her studies in the arts at the University of Benin, Nigeria, and obtained a doctorate in art history from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Layiwola has had several group and solo exhibitions both locally and internationally. In addition to these shows, she has held lectures and workshops in the United States, South Africa, and Austria. Her most recent traveling exhibition and edited book, Benin1897.com: Art and the Restitution Question, present an artist’s impression of the cultural rape of Benin.
Layiwola has also published widely on various aspects of the visual culture of Nigeria. She runs an active studio in Ibadan, Nigeria, as well as a Women and Youth Art empowerment initiative for community development. She is currently an associate professor and teaches art and art history at the University of Lagos, Nigeria.
Parul Dave-Mukherji is currently the dean at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She holds a PhD in Indology from Oxford University. She is the coconvener of the Forum on Contemporary Theory and coeditor of the Journal of Contemporary Thought.
Dave-Mukherji’s publications include Towards A New Art History: Studies in Indian Art (coedited, 2003) and a special issue on Visual Culture of the Journal of Contemporary Thought, 17 (guest editor, Summer 2003). She also published Rethinking Modernity (coedited, 2005) and “Putting the World in a Book: How Global Can Art History Be Today” in J. Anderson, ed., Crossing Cultures: Conflict, Migration, and Convergence (2009). Her current research focuses on comparative aesthetics, contemporary art in India and Asia, and the impact of globalization on art theory and the discipline of art history.
Venny Nakazibwe is a textile designer and art historian, currently a senior lecturer and dean of the Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts, Makerere University, Uganda. She holds an MA in textile design and a PhD in art history. She has conducted extensive research on the history of African textiles, focusing on indigenous fabric design and decorative techniques, as well as the contemporary use of these materials in art and design practice.
Nakazibwe is the winner of the 2007 Roy Sieber Award for her outstanding PhD dissertation on bark-cloth of the Baganda of southern Uganda. She has conducted lectures, workshops, and consulting work locally and internationally on the historical and contemporary use of bark-cloth in art and design practice and on design education for creative enterprises.
Sunyoung Park received an MA in art theory from Seoul National University, with a thesis about Gutai art, and received an MA in art history from University College London. She is a doctorate candidate in art criticism at Hongik University in Seoul, Korea. She is currently a lecturer in art history at several universities and plays an active role as an art critic. Her scholarly interests focus on the human body expressed in different contexts and figurative or abstract representation of embodied subjectivity in the field of vision.
Trinidad Pérez is an art historian who is currently professor and researcher at FLACSO-Ecuador (Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales), a graduate university system for which she has designed a master of fine arts program to open next year. She has previously taught and directed the art-history program at Universidad San Francisco de Quito and designed art-history master’s programs at other local universities to help develop the field in her country.
Pérez received a BA from the University of Maryland and an MA from the University of Texas at Austin, both in art history. She holds a PhD in cultural studies from Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar in Quito. Her research and publications focus on the emergence of modern art as an institution in Ecuador: the local and international conditions that made it possible, the roll of education, theory, and institutions, and the way this art deals with national identity.
Isabel Plante is a researcher of the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) at the Instituto de Altos Estudios Sociales of the Universidad Nacional de San Martín (IDAES-UNSAM) in Argentina. She also teaches at the Universidad Nacional General Sarmiento (UNGS) and the Universidad Nacional de La Matanza (UNLaM). She received her PhD in art history from the School of Philosophy and Letters, Universidad de Buenos Aires.
Plante’s doctoral thesis is about to be published as Argentinos de París. Arte y viajes culturales en los años sesenta (Argentines of Paris: Art and Cultural Travel during the Sixties). Both her dissertation and current postdoctoral research focus on international art exchanges, cultural identification, and geographical migrations of artists and works of art during the 1960s between Paris and South American cities such as Buenos Aires. It is in this context that she studies this period in terms of artistic legitimization and the institutional critique of Argentine and other South American artists in France.
Ohioma Ifounu Pogoson
Ohioma Ifounu Pogoson
Ohioma Ifounu Pogoson is a senior research fellow at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, Nigeria, the same university from which he received a PhD in visual arts in 1990. He has studied the social history of Benin arts in Germany and worked with American universities on African-studies-based curricula. In 2006 he won a MacArthur Foundation grant to make a comparative study of Anglophone and Francophone museums across West Africa and Great Britain. This year he is participating in the University of Cambridge/Africa Collaborative Research Program on Art and Museums in Africa.
Pogoson curates exhibitions and writes extensively about the visual arts of southern Nigeria, particularly Yoruba and Edo arts. His more recent publications include three edited books about Dotun Okubanjo, Moyo Ogundipe, and Lamidi Fakeye. He is the consulting curator of Africa’s largest private art collection, Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation (OYASAF) in Lagos, Nigeria, and honorary curator of the Museum of the Institute of African Studies.
Marina Vicelja-Matijasic is a professor of art history in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and the director of the Center of Iconographic Studies at the University of Rijeka in Croatia. With an undergraduate degree in art history and English language and literature from the University of Zagreb, she completed her PhD in art history in 1999 at the same university with a dissertation entitled “Byzantium and the stone sculpture in Istria – origins and influences.” Vicelja-Matijasic’s research interests include late antique and early medieval art, Christian iconography, iconology, and urban studies.
Karen von Veh
Karen von Veh
Karen von Veh is associate professor in art history and theory in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Johannesburg. She is also the current president of SAVAH (the South African Visual Arts Historians association) and a member of ACASA and CIHA. She studied at WITS University, obtaining BA honors and master’s degrees, and received a PhD from Rhodes University. The title of her PhD thesis is “Transgressive Christian Iconography in Post-apartheid South African Art.”
Von Veh has written several articles and book chapters and delivered national and international conference papers on this and related subjects with reference to works by Diane Victor, Wim Botha, Conrad Botes, Christine Dixie, Majak Bredell, Tracey Rose, and Lawrence Lemaoana, among others. Her research interests include contemporary South African art, religious iconography, gender studies, and postcolonial studies in identity and culture.
Anne Collins Goodyear, associate curator of prints and drawings at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery, became president of the CAA Board of Directors in May 2012. CAA News caught up with her this month to discuss what’s happening in the organization.
Anne Collins Goodyear
CAA just finished its Centennial year at the 2012 Annual Conference in Los Angeles. What’s next?
Marching into its next century, CAA has a number of important initiatives on the docket. Many of these involve taking advantage of new technologies to ease access to CAA’s resources and to enhance the ability of members to connect with one another and to share information. The Board of Directors has just committed to exploring a copublication agreement with an outside publisher that would involve the digitization of Art Journal and The Art Bulletin, albeit retaining print versions of these publications for the foreseeable future. It has also committed to providing open access to caa.reviews within the coming year.
We hope to provide a digital version of our print publications—together with hard copy—by 2014. In addition, a task force formed last year is now reviewing the use of technology at the Annual Conference. At the upcoming 2013 event, we will offer free Wi-Fi for conference goers for the first time. This should make it easier for speakers to bring online resources into the session room and even use Skype or similar services to incorporate talks by artists and scholars who are unable to attend. On the Monday and Tuesday before the conference, we will experiment with the Humanities and Technology Camp—better known as THAT Camp—in order to allow one hundred members to convene for a self-organized discussion on how art, the humanities, and technology intersect.
Of course, one pressing matter that new digital technologies raise—one that “predates” the internet—is obtaining and using reproductions of artwork. This complex issue has important implications for everyone in the visual arts—scholars, curators, and artists. To this end, CAA has undertaken a study that it hopes will lead to a Code of Best Practices for Fair Use of Copyrighted Images in the Creation and Curation of Artworks and Scholarly Publishing in the Visual Arts. Over the course of fall 2012, thanks to funding recently received from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, CAA will be facilitating a review of the literature in the field and conducting interviews with leaders in the visual arts on the subject of copyright and creativity. We will also develop a survey for CAA members to make their views on the subject known. We are working with Patricia Aufderheide, director of the Center for Social Media at American University, and Peter Jaszi, professor of law and faculty director of the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic at American University’s Washington College of Law, who have successfully developed fair-use codes for other creative disciplines, including for independent filmmakers. Aufderheide and Jaszi are the authors of Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011), which describes their work on and approach to the fair use of copyrighted materials. Their efforts will be overseen by a task force of CAA members cochaired by Jeffrey P. Cunard, longstanding CAA counsel and a managing partner in the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, and Gretchen Wagner, general counsel of ARTstor and a member of CAA’s Committee on Intellectual Property. The committee’s upcoming session at the Annual Conference will provide an update on the task force’s progress to members.
What’s the importance of being a CAA member in 2012, for emerging, midcareer, and established artists and scholars?
To my mind, CAA offers many benefits for artists and scholars at all stages of their careers—though we’re always eager to hear how we can provide more support. CAA delivers top-notch scholarship through its publications and sessions at the Annual Conference and also provides excellent opportunities for artists to discuss and showcase their work at the conference. The Services to Artists Committee, chaired by Sharon Louden, is extraordinarily active in developing terrific programming in ARTspace for 2013.
In addition to these resources, CAA provides valuable guidelines for tenure and promotion, information about navigating copyright, and other best practices. Last year, in response to concern expressed by members engaged with authentication, CAA worked with its insurance broker, which now extends authentication insurance to interested members. CAA also provides great networking opportunities through its committees and its conference. Ultimately, members shape CAA’s identity, from their time as graduate students throughout the duration of their careers. CAA has an incredibly dedicated staff and board, all of whom are committed to serving the membership and addressing matters of professional concern. Members shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to us.
If CAA wishes to be more inclusive of artists and designers, as it has indicated in the 2010–2015 Strategic Plan, how might it do so?
CAA currently has a task force investigating opportunities for designers. As previously mentioned, the Services to Artists Committee produces a lot of conference content. CAA also provides a great forum to present and discuss work outside a commercial framework. Artists have an important hand in the Task Force on Annual Conference Technologies. CAA’s guidelines for artists with respect to academic tenure and promotion, conventions for résumés and CVs, and studio health and safety are highly prized. CAA hopes artists will find much value in the Code of Best Practices for Fair Use of Copyrighted Images. Artist members, like others, should feel encouraged to let the staff and board know if there are other ways in which we can advocate on their behalf or provide services that would be helpful. CAA is also now embarking on the development of its new 2015–2020 Strategic Plan, which will enable the organization to solicit and build upon input from the membership about its evolving needs and priorities and the ways in which CAA can adapt to serve those most effectively.
Digital publications and social networking are among important internet-related issues for artists and scholars. What are your ideas regarding these two areas?
CAA is developing a plan to digitize its print publications, as discussed above, and hopes to offer caa.reviews as an open-access journal in a year. Nia Page, CAA’s director of membership, development, and marketing, recently circulated a study to CAA’s membership to ask how CAA members might benefit from new platforms for social networking related to their professional interests.
How do you envision the relationship between the CAA membership and the president and board?
My hope is for a fluid relationship. The board, which is elected by the membership, is extremely active in the organization. CAA members should feel welcome and encouraged to reach out to anyone who serves on the board, including the president and the executive director. Members should also give serious consideration to becoming personally involved in the governance of the organization. This includes considering running for the board and serving on it, as well as simply taking time to get to know candidates for the board and casting votes in the annual election. The business meeting at the Annual Conference is a great way to get information about recent activities, financial reports, or other matters of interest. Joining one of the Professional Interests, Practices, and Standards Committees is another way for members to have a voice and to shape the organization. Other opportunities for them to contribute to or benefit from CAA’s activities are to serve on an editorial board, the Annual Conference Committee, awards juries, or the Nominating Committee, which is charged with interviewing those who have expressed an interest in serving on the board and developing the final slate of candidates.
What is CAA’s role in relation not only to government, politics, and the freedom of expression, but also to workforce issues and intellectual property?
CAA has the clout and organizational capacity to play an important role advocating issues of significance on behalf of its members and makes every effort to do so. Members should feel free to alert the organization to topics of concern. CAA regularly participates in the national Humanities Advocacy Day and Arts Advocacy Day. It is part of the American Council of Learned Societies and well integrated with other professional organizations. CAA is involved in supporting the interests of adjunct faculty as well as other professionals. CAA is a founding member of the Coalition on the Academic Workforce, which has just published results about part-time professors from its 2010 survey. As noted at the outset of this interview, CAA is currently undertaking a serious study of the fair use of copyrighted materials—including images—by scholars and artists. We hope to clarify how and when nonlicensed reproduction of third-party works can be considered “fair.” A generous grant from the Kress Foundation is supporting preliminary work in this area.
How CAA uses its organization capacity to serve its membership is ultimately the most important concern for the organization. Clearly, that can take many different forms. We welcome the ongoing input of our membership to ensure we are doing that as effectively and meaningfully as possible.
The CAA Board of Directors convened in New York on Saturday and Sunday, October 27–28, 2012, for its fall meetings. The following report from Anne Collins Goodyear, CAA board president, and Linda Downs, CAA executive director and chief executive officer, summarizes the discussion and the results of the meetings.
As the hurricane of the century approached the northeastern coast during the weekend of October 27, CAA hosted its annual fall meetings for the Board of Directors, the editorial boards of all three journals, and the Publications Committee, all held in New York. The board also gathered for its biannual retreat. All agendas were covered despite the pending storm. One board member found herself stranded in New York, where she rode out Sandy, but all others were able to get home before its arrival. The staff and offices did not fare as well. Many CAA employees were without power for several days, and ten days passed before electricity, heat, telephones, and internet were restored at the office located in Lower Manhattan. Those staff members who did have power donated their time, equipment, chothing, and funds to help the hundreds of thousands in the area who needed assistance. CAA is up and running again with the hope that we will not see another storm like the one that devastated the region. Fortunately, CAA’s website, which relies on servers outside the New York region, was not affected.
The board retreat provided an opportunity for the Directors to focus on critical issues in the visual arts field and the association. This year the focus was on three important areas—the development of a copublications arrangement for CAA’s journals, which will enable the transition from print to online journals; open access for caa.reviews; and the development of a fair use code of best practices in the visual arts for creative work and scholarly publishing.
CAA’s consultant on the transition to online journals, Raym Crow of the Chain Bridge Group, presented his analyses of The Art Bulletin, Art Journal, and caa.reviews and his recommendations. The analyses are based on a survey distributed to members in April 2012 to determine the value of the journals and interest in an online format. The analyses included an extensive financial projection of resources needed over the next five years for print and online journals. Crow also provided business models to support caa.reviews on an open access basis. The discussion at the retreat as well as at the editorial board meetings reviewed the analyses and the resolution, adopted by the Board of Directors, to distribute a request for proposal (RFP) to potential publishing partners and to pursue the distribution of caa.reviews on an open access basis next year.
As announced earlier in CAA News, CAA is now pursuing research into the fair use of copyrighted materials by artists, scholars, and curators, thanks to funding from the Kress Foundation (see http://bit.ly/QGktD9). To this end, the board heard from Peter Jaszi, Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic, American University, and Patricia Aufderheide, Professor, School of Communications and Director of the Center for Social Media, American University, who are lead investigators on CAA’s project to develop a code of fair use for creative work and scholarly publications made possible through a grant from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. Jaszi and Aufderheide described their research methodology, which focuses on consensus-building within a field to develop codes of fair use. Their method has resulted in fair use codes for many other academic fields such as documentary filmmaking, dance, and research libraries. (See: www.centerforsocialmedia.org.)
Jaszi and Aufderheide divided the Board and staff into two groups to gather information about situations where copyright issues occur in the creation of artwork and in scholarly research and publication. Over the next two months they will interview CAA members—art historians, artists, museum curators, visual resources personnel, publishers, image rights holders, CAA Affiliated Society members, and many others—to establish an issues report for the visual arts field. The objective is to reach consensus on best practices of fair use for creative work and scholarly publishing in the visual arts.
Jaszi and Aufderheide will report on a regular basis to the CAA Task Force on Fair Use, which is cochaired by Jeffrey Cunard, CAA Counsel and Managing Partner at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP; and Gretchen Wagner, a member of the CAA Committee on Intellectual Property and General Counsel for ARTstor. Members of the Task Force include: Anne Collins Goodyear (CAA President and Associate Curator, Prints and Drawings, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution); Linda Downs (CAA Executive Director and CEO); Suzanne Preston Blier (CAA Board Member and Allen Whitehill Clowes Professor of Fine Arts and of African and African American Studies, Harvard University); DeWitt Godfrey (CAA Vice President for Committees and Director, Institute for the Creative and Performing Arts, Colgate University); Randall C. Griffin (ex-officio as CAA Vice President for Publications, Professor, Division of Art History, Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University); Paul Jaskot (CAA Past President and Professor of History of Art and Architecture, DePaul University); Patricia McDonnell (CAA Vice President for External Affairs and Director, Wichita Art Museum); Charles Wright (CAA Board Member and Chair, Department of Art, Western Illinois University).
The Board’s Audit Committee reviewed the annual audit and it was accepted by the Board. The 2012 CAA Audit will be presented at the Annual Members’ Business Meeting at the Annual Conference on Friday, February 15, 2013.
The Finance and Budget Committee heard a presentation by CAA’s investment manager, Domenic Colasacco of Boston Trust. The investments have followed the association’s investment policies and are continuing to recover from the economic recession of 2008.
The Board approved a resolution presented by President Goodyear to establish a Task Force for CAA’s 2015–2020 Strategic Plan. The current plan will conclude June 30, 2014. We anticipate that the next strategic plan will begin immediately after that, at the beginning of CAA’s 2015 Fiscal Year.
Deputy Director, Michael Fahlund, and Karol Ann Lawson, Chair, CAA Museum Committee, presented a resolution to support the Museum Best Practices for Managing Controversy. This statement was initiated by the National Coalition Against Censorship and representatives from the Association of Art Museum Directors, Association of Art Museum Curators, and American Alliance of Museums. Fahlund discussed the need for the guidelines given the increase in art museum controversies. Lawson indicated the support of these guidelines by the CAA Museum Committee. The resolution was adopted by the board.
Two associations were welcomed to CAA’s Affiliated Societies bringing the total number of affiliates to seventy-eight: the American Society of Appraisers: Personal Property Committee and the European Postwar and Contemporary Art Forum. See: www.collegeart.org/affiliated.
The Vice President for Committees, DeWitt Godfrey, and the CAA Chair of the Professional Practices Committee, Jim Hopfensberger, presented resolutions to adopt the following guidelines: Artist Résumé: Recommended Conventions (written in 1999); Visual Artist Curriculum Vitae: Recommended Conventions (written in 1999); and Revised Standards for Professional Placement (formerly revised in 1992). All three resolutions were approved and are available at: www.collegeart.org/guidelines.
The Vice President for Publications, Randall Griffin, presented the Resolution to Provide Online Journals Through a Copublisher. This resolution affirms that a Request for Proposals will be developed by the CAA consultant, Raym Crow, in cooperation with an Advisory Group, the staff, and CAA Counsel and be reviewed by the Publications Committee and approved by the board. It also states that caa.reviews will be provided on an open access basis beginning in the fall of 2013 supported by ads and/or click through purchases of books. The resolution was approved.