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Protesters in New Delhi protest against violence at Jawaharlal Nehru University. Photo: Anushree Fadnavis/Reuters, via New York Times

The American Council for Southern Asian Art (ACSAA), a CAA Affiliate Society, has condemned the ongoing assault on democratic institutions and intellectual freedoms in India. Read their statement below.

The American Council of Southern Asian Art (ACSAA), a non-profit organization and a community of academics and humanists, condemns the ongoing assault on democratic institutions and intellectual freedoms in India.

Both the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), signed on 11 December 2019, and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) Act, to be implemented in 2021, are openly discriminatory laws. We denounce any attempt at exclusion based on religion, caste, gender, race, or sexual identity, and find both laws to be antithetical to the Indian constitution and its democracy. In particular, as researchers and teachers of India’s art and architecture across millennia, we are committed to preserving the rich contributions of Muslims to its visual culture and intellectual life. We see this commitment as directly threatened by the violent, often state-sanctioned, erasure of such contributions, in instances such as the demolition of the Babri Masjid, the occupation of Kashmir, the renaming of cities, and the rewriting of academic curricula along Hindutva lines.

We stand in full support of the students and teachers at Aligarh Muslim University and the Jamia Millia Islamia, following the events of 15 December 2019; at Jawaharlal Nehru University, following events there on 5 January 2020; and everyone currently participating in peaceful protests and demonstrations across the country. We see the brutal attack at JNU—organized and executed by members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student faction of the Hindutva organization, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and, with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a member of the Sangh Parivar—as one more instance of a widespread denial of the rights of Indian citizens to critique their government peacefully and openly.

The accusations of “anti-nationalism” directed at marginalized communities at these confrontations – particularly Muslims, Dalits, and women – are reminders of the extent to which extremists will go to erode the secular principles on which the country was founded.

To date, there have been no arrests or investigations into the identity of the attackers at JNU, despite indisputable evidence. We deplore the negligence of the Delhi Police, who looked on as the attacks happened, and call for both an immediate investigation and the resignation of JNU’s Vice Chancellor, M. Jagadesh Kumar. Following as it does the instances of police violence at Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia, as well as long-term interventions including cuts to funding and fee hikes, the JNU attack urgently increases our concern, as part of the global academic community, for public higher education and critical thought in India.

The American Council for Southern Asian Art (ACSAA) is dedicated to advancing the study and awareness of the art of South and Southeast Asia and the Himalayan regions, spanning all periods and forms of artistic production.


Related reading: In Photos: The World’s Largest Democracy Is in Upheaval (Quartz India, December 15, 2019)

Police Fire Tear Gas as Delhi Protesters Decry Citizenship Law (Al Jazeera, December 15, 2019)

I Saw Police Stand by as Masked Men Attacked Students at a Top Delhi University. It Was Yet Another Assault on India’s Intellectuals (Time, January 8, 2020)

Behind Campus Attack in India, Some See a Far-Right Agenda (New York Times, January 10, 2020)

THE MANY FACES OF HUMAN IMPACTS: Exhibition Review of The Seventh Continent, 16th Istanbul Biennial, curated by Nicolas Bourriaud, September 14–November 10, 2019.

The following article was written in response to a call for submissions by CAA’s International Committee. It is by Madeleine Kelly, an artist based in Sydney, Australia.

When artists work with archaeology and anthropology it is easy to imagine their work as a labor entrenched in the past. Yet, in the 2019 Istanbul Biennial—an enormous exhibition in three venues that presented the work of fifty-six artists and art collectives from twenty-six countries—artists engaged with the descriptive capacity of archaeological methods by reinvesting them in the metaphorical dimension of imaginative artifacts and languages. New and complex ways of signifying humanity’s traces, marks, and interactions with the non-human universe emerged, blurring the traditional separation between nature and culture. Following from this, the division between subjects and objects also breaks down, granting subjective agency to stones, plants, and other non-human voices. The most powerful works invented an “inter-subjective relation” (see discussion below) that proceeded by way of the form of the face. As othered subjects are often faceless, the mediums in which they are embodied configure them as anthropological concepts. Entitled The Seventh Continent after the drifting mass of plastic waste that contaminates the world’s oceans, this year’s Istanbul Biennial explored the complex entanglements of anthropogenic climate change and the human impact on the planet.

French curator and art historian Nicolas Bourriaud is known for his controversial book, Relational Aesthetics (1998, English translation 2002), which revitalized the discussion on aesthetics at the time. In it, film critic Serge Daney suggested that the invention of “inter-subjective relation” proceeds by way of the form of the face, an exchange that denotes the consideration we have towards others. Further, to produce a form is to partake in a transitive ethic in which an image mediates the longing to be looked at. He states that “all form is a face looking at me.”  In the biennial, Bourriaud drew attention to “the primacy of encounter over form,” arguing that dynamic encounters between different types of beings–and by extension forms–constitute relational formations. I propose that an echo of his early citation of inter-subjective relation is present in forms with subject-like qualities–in particular faces– and that these especially address our relation to dwindling diversity and mounting waste generated by industrial capitalism.

Figure 1: HaZaVuZu art collective, Worlbmon, 2019, installation view and details; Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Istanbul Museum of Painting and Sculpture (photograph provided by the author)

In the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Istanbul Museum of Painting and Sculpture, located in the heart of the city, the Istanbul-based HaZaVuZu art collective presented an alluring grotto-like installation of animated surfaces and faces inspired by everyday packaging, inkblots, and grotesque figures that “look back at us” (Fig. 1). The myriad images recall the semiotic wonderland of Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia Museum, weaving its historical thread of the iconophilic and iconoclastic, but the HaZaVuZu seems to riff on this legacy with forms that oscillate between iconic, indexical, and symbolic sign systems. Bourriaud’s statement (in an introduction to the exhibition) that “the work of art is a signal, akin to those all living organisms emit” seems to crystalize in these works where the artists breathe life into inanimate materials composed of matter seemingly evolving into being.

Figure. 2: Hale Tenger, Appearance (detail), 2019, mixed-media and sound installation, black obsidian mirrors, iron, epoxy resin based paint, water, audio-spotlight speaker, Büyükada Island (photograph provided by the author)

Along with the trope of the living work is that of art as a mirror to the world, reflecting the ineffable operations of nature. Yet in the context of the exhibition, an ideal nature is displaced to expose, as Bourriaud states, “the reverse mirror-image of our societies, the seventh continent is the country we don’t want to inhabit, made up of everything we reject.” On the island venue of Büyükada, a ferry ride from town, Istanbul-based artist Hale Tenger presented a mixed-media and sound installation entitled Appearance (Fig. 2). The viewer entered an apple orchard on the grounds of the dilapidated Sophronius Palace in which round black obsidian mirrors and pools of water reminiscent of black oil reflected skyscapes and trees. A voice from the house hoarsely whispered a poem by the artist: “I was a fruit tree . . . I gave, without expecting reciprocity . . . can you be by not doing?” And when we saw our faces reflected in the black mirrors we felt caught up in the quotidian complicities conjured by the question.

Another compelling work, this time the face of the deep, was also on the island. Armin Linke’s investigative film Prospecting Ocean (2018) transported viewers to the world of deep-sea politics where activists organize protests against seabed mining and the technocratic entanglement of industry, science, politics, and the economy. In the accompanying installation of documents related to Italian and Turkish marine history, a book chapter entitled “Ion by Ion,” by marine scientists Bruce Heezen and Charles Hollister, beautifully describes the evolution of mineral gardens comprised of manganese nodules. These polymetallic rock concretions accumulate daily in atomic layers and correlate with species abundance. Like strata that accumulate in the layers of a painting, the nodules embody an enlivening vitality.

Figure 3. Mika Rottenberg, still from Spaghetti Blockchain, 2019, 4K color video installation with 7.1 surround sound, 18:15 min.; Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Istanbul Museum of Painting and Sculpture (artwork © Mika Rottenberg; photograph provided by the artist and Hauser & Wirth)

Artist Mika Rottenberg’s rapid-edit video Spaghetti Blockchain presents more strata, but hers are of oozy plastic modelling compounds, cakes that accumulate in layers of artificially coloured jelly, and molecular models scaffolded from skewers and marshmallows (Fig. 3). The film cuts to a potato-processing plant that rips through tree branches and thousands of potatoes in granular form. The agency of the hand appears as a critical element, often framed by hexagonal kaleidoscopic apertures that “blink” us through the brilliantly edited comic nightmare of her “organic chemistry.” Bourriaud proposes, “today’s artists practice a type of anthropology that one could call molecular.”

Figure 4: Eloise Hawser, Feathering, 2019, video sculpture, 76 x 101 x 20 in. (193.6 × 257 × 50 cm), steel, laminated and repurposed glass panels, Pera Museum (photograph provided by the author)

Another work, The Tipping Hall by London-based artist Eloise Hawser, takes the “petal claw” as its subject. These mechanical fists, with their twenty-six foot (eight meter) talons, do a vital job of aerating the waste of tipping halls to prevent the build-up of toxic gases. This work was displayed in the biennial’s third venue, the Pera Museum, as was Hawser’s Feathering (2019), a mesmeric kinetic sculpture made from waste and showing, at high magnification, the intricate and fine-toothed handling of e-waste (Fig. 4).

Figure 5: Jonathas de Andrade, still from O Peixe (The fish), 2016, 16mm transferred to 2K video, 5.1 sound, screen ratio 16:9 (1.77), 23 min.; Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Istanbul Museum of Painting and Sculpture (photograph provided by Pedro Urano)

In Brazilian-based artist Jonathas de Andrade’s film O Peixe (The fish) (Fig. 5), Amazonian fishermen ceremoniously embrace and caress their slowly suffocating catch. While stylistically a pastiche of early ethnographic films, the intimate gesture between man and dying fish is an invention of the artist. Pertinent here is the aesthetic encounter between humans and animals being slaughtered, generating uneasy discussions and making this a challenging work.

In many ways, The Seventh Continent was an aestheticizing of the anthropogenic environmental tragedy. These artists translated notions of subjectivity into forms that document and/or question human impact–their forms look back at us, urging us to explore the complex entanglements of anthropogenic climate change and holding us to account for our impact on the planet.

Filed under: International

On September 24, soldiers from the Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR) attacked and looted the Royal Palace, in Bafut, North-West region. © Creative Commons/ShareAlike 3.0, via Human Rights Watch

CAA endorses its affiliate society, the Arts Council of the African Studies Association (ACASA), in condemning recent reports of theft, property damage, as well as violence at the Palace of Bafut in Cameroon.

The site is an important part of the history and culture of the Bafut population in the northwest region of Cameroon, and continues to function as a center for religious rites and ceremonies. The violence and destruction to the Bafut Palace threatens the safety and identity of the Bafut people and the maintenance of their distinctive cultural traditions. As such it deserves protection from the Republic of Cameroon and pressure from organizations and governments to restore damaged structures and return stolen artifacts.

Read ACASA’s statement below.

Statement Concerning Destruction of Cultural Patrimony in Bafut

20 November 2019

The Arts Council of the African Studies Association (ACASA)—an independent professional association  which exists to facilitate communication among scholars, teachers, students, artists, museum specialists, collectors, and all others interested in the arts of Africa and the African Diaspora—condemns the violent aggression perpetrated by the Republic of Cameroon against the Palace of Bafut, a site included on UNESCO’s Tentative List of World Heritage Sites since 2006.  Human Rights Watch reports that “On September 24 [2019], soldiers from the Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR) attacked and looted the Royal Palace in Bafut, North-West region.”  (https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/10/11/world-heritage-site-attacked-cameroon#)  Fon Abumbi II of Bafut protested the aggression in a letter dated September 24, 2019 and addressed to the Governor of North West Region.  In addition to causing damage to buildings within the palace and perpetrating violence against those who had been neither charged nor tried in a court of law, these troops representing the authority of the State shamelessly stole historical objects from the palace museum.

According to the World Monuments Fund, the palace “embodies Bafut cultural identity and remains a center for religious rites and traditional ceremonies. Over 50 houses are clustered around the site’s spiritual core, Achum Shrine, and are used by the Fon (king), his wives, and the royal court.” (https://www.wmf.org/project/bafut-palace)  The palaces and museums of the North West Region of Cameroon serve as invaluable repositories of the long-standing traditions and material cultures of these vibrant kingdoms. These palaces and associated sites—where ritual practices have long been performed—foster and house the heritages, both tangible and intangible of these communities.  The violent destruction and looting of such a site may be understood as an attempt to erase the cultural identity of the Bafut population.  As a site listed on the Tentative List of World Heritage Sites, Bafut Palace is recognized as holding even greater than just local significance, constituting a primary locus of cultural heritage for the entirety of Cameroon, and indeed the world.  The Cameroonian State must treat these places as the internationally significant cultural heritage sites that they are.

ACASA calls on the Republic of Cameroon to protect sites of cultural heritage as required by being party to the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property.  According to Article 4(3) of the aforementioned convention, it is the obligation of the State “to prohibit, prevent and, if necessary, put a story to any form of theft, pillage or misappropriation of, and any acts of vandalism directed against, cultural property….”  In light of this international obligation, the Cameroonian State must bring to justice and punish appropriately those responsible for this heinous act.  Furthermore, every effort must be taken to return looted items of cultural heritage to the palace museum of Bafut.

CC:

Paul Biya, President of the Republic of Cameroon

Henri Etoundi Essomba, Ambassador of the Republic of Cameroon to the US

Peter Henry Barlein, US Ambassador to the Republic of Cameroon

Narcisse Mouelle Kombi, Minister of Arts and Culture for the Republic of Cameroon

UNESCO

World Monuments Fund

https://www.acasaonline.org/3461-2/

We’re pleased to announce this year’s participants in the CAA-Getty International Program. Now in its ninth year, this international program supported by the Getty Foundation will bring fifteen new participants and five alumni to the 2020 Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois.

The participants—professors of art history, curators, and artists who teach art history—hail from countries throughout the world, expanding CAA’s growing international membership and contributing to an increasingly diverse community of scholars and ideas. This year we are adding participants from four countries not included previously—Bolivia, Saudi Arabia, Côte d’Ivoire, and Singapore—bringing the total number of countries represented by the program to fifty. Selected by a jury of CAA members from a highly competitive group of applicants, the participants will receive funding for travel expenses, hotel accommodations, conference registration, CAA membership, and per diems for out-of-pocket expenditures.

At a one-day preconference colloquium, to be held this year at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the fifteen new participants will discuss key issues in the international study of art history together with five CAA-Getty alumni and several CAA members from the United States, who also will serve as hosts throughout the conference. The preconference program will delve deeper into subjects discussed during last year’s program, including such topics as postcolonial and Eurocentric legacies, interdisciplinary and transnational methodologies, and the intersection of politics and art history.

This is the third year that the program includes five alumni, who provide an intellectual link between previous convenings of the international program and this year’s events. They also serve as liaisons between CAA and the growing community of CAA-Getty alumni. In addition to serving as moderators for the preconference colloquium, the five alumni will present a new Global Conversation during the 2020 conference titled Things Aren’t Always as they Seem: Art History and the Politics of Vision.

The goal of the CAA-Getty International Program is to increase international participation in the organization’s activities, thereby expanding international networks and the exchange of ideas both during and after the conference. CAA currently includes members from sixty countries around the world. We look forward to welcoming the following participants at the next Annual Conference in Chicago.

REGISTER FOR CAA 2020

2020 Participants in the CAA-Getty International Program

Irene Bronner is a senior lecturer with the South African Research Chair in South African Art History and Visual Culture, Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, University of Johannesburg, South Africa. Her doctorate (DLitt et Phil), titled “Representations of Domestic Workers in Post-apartheid South African Art Practice,” was conferred by the University of Johannesburg in 2016. She then held a three-year postdoctoral research fellowship with the same institution, during which time she received a Postdoctoral Research Fellows’ Excellence Award. Her research interests center on feminist studies in the visual arts, with a focus on contemporary southern Africa. She works principally with feminist, queer and postcolonial cultural theory as well as issues of memory, affect, gender, and the aftermath of trauma.  She has published in local and international journals, recently in Woman’s Art Journal and Textile: Journal of Cloth and Culture.

 

Eiman Elgibreen is an artist and an assistant professor of art history at the Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She obtained a PhD in art history from the University of Sussex (UK) for her research on “Image Making: Representations of Women in the Art and Career of Safeya Binzagr 1968-2000.”  Since 2011 Elgibreen has also been a freelance writer for Al-Riyadh Daily Newspaper and Al-Jazirah Daily Newspaper, and an art consultant for organizations that are concerned with preserving the legacy of Saudi pioneer artists such as Darat Safeya Binzagr (a museum devoted to the artist’s work), and Saudi Arts House (a family foundation devoted to the work of Mohammed Alsaleem). In addition, she has curated a number of art exhibitions, including the Saudi National Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale, 2019. Elgibreen is interested in exploring the forgotten and/or misrepresented aspects of Saudi and Arab culture through her research and her art. A goal of her work is to encourage acceptance of cultural differences.

Dária G. Jaremtchuk is an associate professor of art history at the Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on contemporary art. As Fulbright Brazil Distinguished Chair at Emory University in 2019, she taught a course in the art history department about Brazilian contemporary visual arts. In 2018, she was a visiting scholar at Georgetown University and at Brown University in 2011. In 2010, she edited the book Arte e política: situações (Art and politics: situations) (Alameda Editora) and in 2007 she published Anna Bella Geiger: Passagens Conceituais (Anna Bella Geiger: conceptual passages) (C/Arte and Editora da Universidade de São Paulo). She is currently researching the relocation of Brazilian artists during the Brazilian military dictatorship of the 1960s and 70s and the artistic exchange between Brazil and the United States at that time. She has published on this topic in journals, conference proceedings, and book chapters.

 

Ganiyu Jimoh received a PhD in art history from the University of Lagos, Nigeria, where he is also a lecturer. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow with the Arts of Africa and Global Souths research program in the Department of Fine Art at Rhodes University in South Africa. His research, which focuses on contemporary art, new media, satire, and cartoons has attracted major awards, including the prestigious University of Lagos Best Researcher Award in Arts and Humanities in 2011. In 2015 he received a grant to conduct research for his PhD dissertation at the African Studies Center at Michigan State University. Jimoh is also a recipient of the 2019 African Studies Association Presidential fellowship. As a scholarly writer who is also a practicing political cartoonist, Jimga (his cartoon signature) has several local and international exhibitions to his credit and currently serves as the secretary of Cartoonists Association of Nigeria (CARTAN).

 

Mariana Levytska is a research associate in the Department of Art Studies of the Ethnology Institute at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in Lviv. She received a PhD in the history of art from the Lviv National Academy of Arts in 2003. Based on her thesis, she published a monograph about Ukrainian portrait painting as an artistic and memorial phenomenon of the long nineteenth century. In addition, she has worked as a senior lecturer from 2005–14 and associate professor in 2015 at the Department of Architectural Environment Design in the Faculty of Architecture of the Lviv National Agricultural University. Levytska’s current area of research is Ukrainian religious art of the eighteenth century (late Baroque-Rococo period), focusing on the concept of cultural transfer according to “peripatetic works of art (such as engravings and albums)” as well as peripatetic artists. She is also interested in issues of Ukrainian historiography of the art of the twentieth century.

 

Daniela Lucena holds a PhD in social sciences from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and specialize in the sociology of art and culture. A researcher at the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) in Buenos Aires, she teaches sociology of art courses at UBA, where she is also head of a research team.  Since 2003 she has studied various aesthetical projects where art, culture, and politics are intertwined. Her books include Contaminación artística. Arte concreto, comunismo y peronismo en los años 40 (Artistic contamination: concret avant-garde, communism and Peronism in the 40s) (Biblios, 2015) and Modo mata moda. Arte, cuerpo y (micro)política en los 80 (Form kills fashion: art, body and [micro]politics in the 80s), coauthored with Gisela Laboureau, (EDULP, 2016). In addition to her work as researcher, since 2007 she has collaborated with PH15, a foundation that organizes photography workshops for children of vulnerable populations, assessing programs and community work linked to art.

 


Ali Mahfouz is the director of the Mansoura Storage Museum, part of the Ministry of Egyptian Antiquities. He received a BA in 2010 and an MA in Egyptology in 2017, both from Mansoura University. He is currently working on his PhD. Mahfouz began working as an inspector of antiquities at the Ministry of Antiquities in 2012. In August 2015 he was appointed the supervisor of the Mansoura Storage Museum and in October 2018 he became its director. With colleagues, Mahfouz founded Save Mansoura, a volunteer organization dedicated to raising public awareness about the value of cultural heritage and the restoration of historic sites. He is also the cofounder of the Documentation of Architectural and Urban Heritage of Mansoura City Project, which aims to document, digitize, and archive that city’s cultural history. His greatest concern is the fate of archaeological sites damaged or destroyed because of political conflicts and the need to preserve his country’s cultural heritage in the wake of that destruction.

 

Priya Maholay-Jaradi is the founding convenor of a new art history academic program, a collaboration between the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the National Gallery Singapore. She earned an MA in art history from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London (2001); a PhD from NUS (2012), and a postdoctoral fellowship at the International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden (2013). A former curator at the Asian Civilizations Museum, Singapore, she has curated Portrait of a Community (National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai, 2002), Beauty in Asia (Asian Civilizations Museum, Singapore, 2007) and Tautology of Memory (NUS Museum, Singapore, 2012). Jaradi’s monograph, Fashioning a National Art: Baroda’s Royal Collection and Institutions (1875-1924) (Oxford University Press, 2016), mobilizes provincial archives to reveal links between princely modernities and nationalisms in South Asia. She is the volume editor of Baroda: A Cosmopolitan Provenance in Transition (Marg Foundation, 2015). Her current research examines India-Singapore museological imaginations within the context of cold war diplomacy, the Non-Aligned Movement, and decolonization.

 

Valeria Paz Moscoso specializes in modern and contemporary Bolivian art history. She is the academic coordinator and advisor in the Department of Culture at the Universidad Católica Boliviana (La Paz), where she is also a temporary lecturer and editor of the journal Ciencia y Cultura (Science and culture). Her PhD dissertation examined the concept of repression and emancipation in the work of Bolivian artist Roberto Valcárcel. Currently, she is researching the disruption of the narrative of Indigenism in contemporary art. Additional research interests include gender, humor, critical theory, postcolonial studies, and arts-based research. She has curated exhibitions in Bolivia and the United Kingdom, and published in journals such as ESCALA Research Papers, Ciencia y CulturaBisagra (Hinge), Terremoto (Earthquake), and in the books Corrosión y Anomalía: escenas  del arte contemporáneo boliviano (Corrosion and anomaly: scenes from contemporary Bolivian art) (2019) and Bolivia: Los caminos de la escultura (Bolivia: the paths of sculpture) (2009), a publication selected for the Bicentennial Library of Bolivia.

 

Daria Panaiotti is a photography curator and research associate in the Contemporary Art Department of the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. She graduated with honors from the European University in St. Petersburg (EUSPB), where she is currently completing her PhD with a dissertation on the history of Soviet documentary photography in Brezhnev’s era. She is also a member of the program committee of the After Post-Photography international conference, the only annual conference on photographic theory and history in Russia. Previously she was involved in the project In Support of Photography in Russia, funded by the IRIS Foundation, Moscow, where she was a member of the curatorial team that organized exhibitions of Russian photography for FotoFest 2012—an international photography festival held every two years in Houston, Texas—and where she also participated in an international portfolio review for Russian photographers at the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture in Moscow in 2011.

 

Aleksandra Paradowska is a lecturer and researcher in the Department of Art History and Philosophy, Faculty of Art Education and Curatorial Studies, at the University of Fine Arts in Poznań, Poland. After receiving a PhD from the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań in 2013, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Wrocław from 2014–17. Her research focuses on architectural history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, especially the relationship between architecture and politics. For the past five years she has studied Nazi architecture in Polish territories during the Second World War in relation to different perspectives of the humanities, that is, interdisciplinary views of postcolonial and heritage studies. Paradowska has published widely on Polish interwar architecture and received several scholarships:  from DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) in 2010, START by the Foundation for Polish Science in 2014, and a scholarship for leading young researchers in Poland by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education in 2017–19.

 

Saurabh Tewari received a BArch in 2008 from the Sushant School of Art and Architecture, Gurgaon/GGSIP University, Delhi (India), and a MDes in 2010 from the Industrial Design Center, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. As a doctoral candidate in the Design Program at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, he is attempting to map out and understand the shifting role of design in postcolonial India within the broader narrative of national development. Currently an assistant professor of design in the School of Planning and Architecture in Bhopal, Tewari has developed a curriculum that includes design history, design culture, and design studies. Ultimately, his goal is to develop South Asia’s first postgraduate program in design history and studies. He views his role in two ways: as a design historian in South Asia exploring and constructing scholarly approaches to design history, and as a South Asian scholar in the design history community voicing the potential of decolonized approaches to the field.

 

Giuliana Vidarte received a BA in Latin American literature and an MA in art history from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. In 2013 she was part of a curatorial intensive course in Northern Ireland organized by Independent Curators International (New York). In 2014 she received a travel grant to participate in the annual meeting of the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art (CIMAM) in Qatar. Between 2015–18, she was the curator of Bufeo: Amazonía+Arte, a project for the research and dissemination of Amazonian art. Vidarte has developed exhibition projects about the relationship between visual arts and literature, the rewriting of history based on the recovery of unofficial discourses, and artistic production in the Peruvian Amazon. Currently, she is chief curator and head of exhibitions at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in Lima (MAC Lima) and curatorial assistant for the Peruvian pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019.

 

Julia Waite is the curator of New Zealand art at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, New Zealand’s largest art museum. She has worked on a number of large-scale exhibitions including the fifth Auckland triennial, If you were to live here . . . (2013) and Space to Dream: Recent Art from South America (2016). Her research interests are focused on the development of modern art in New Zealand and its connections with other peripheral modernisms. In 2015 she curated the exhibition Freedom and Structure: Cubism and New Zealand Art 1930–1960, which toured throughout New Zealand, and published an associated catalogue. She cocurated the major survey of New Zealand’s preeminent abstract painter Gordon Walters: New Vision, which opened at Auckland Art Gallery in 2018. Most recently, Waite has cocurated Louise Henderson: From Life, the first comprehensive retrospective of French-born New Zealand artist Louise Henderson. She has an MA in art history (First Class) and an MA in museum and heritage studies.

 

Jean-Arsène Yao received a PhD in Latin American history from the Universidad de Alcalá (Spain) in 2002. His scholarship focuses on teaching Spanish in the African Diaspora, particularly with blacks in Argentina. Currently professor of Latin America and Caribbean studies at the Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny (Côte d’Ivoire) and visiting professor at the Universidad de Alcalá and the Universidad de Granada (Spain), his teaching interests include Hispanic American culture and civilization; race, class, and ethnicity in Latin America; and Afro-Hispanic history. He has a special interest in the visual representation of people of African descent in art history and visual studies. Yao has conducted research in Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, and Uruguay. He has published widely, including five books, several book chapters, and over twenty articles in juried journals of research. Since 2016 he has been the founder-coordinator of the Group of Latin American Studies and Research (https://grelat-ufhb.org/).

 

Participating Alumni

Abiodun Akande is a senior lecturer at the University of Lagos, Nigeria, where he teaches painting, art education, and art history. Akande earned a BA in fine arts from the Obafemi Awolowo University and received an MA and PhD in the visual arts of Africa from the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.  In 2013, he participated in the first Basel Summer School in African Studies at the University of Basel in Switzerland; he also attended a graduate symposium hosted by the School of Arts at Peking University in Beijing, China. Akande first participated in the CAA-Getty International Program in 2016 and returned the following year to participate in the 2017 CAA-Getty reunion program. His current research focuses on knowledge systems in the art and cultural practices of indigenous communities in Nigeria. A recent publication, “Ará òrun kìn-ìn kin-in: Òyó-Yòrùbá egúngún Masquerade in Communion and Maintenance of Ontological Balance,” (Genealogy, 3(1), 7, 2019) explores the Yòrùbá belief in life after death, and how the powers and spirits of the deceased are harnessed for the benefit of the living.

 

Pedith Chan is an assistant professor of Cultural Management in the Faculty of Arts at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She received her PhD in Art and Archaeology from SOAS, University of London. Before joining the Chinese University of Hong Kong Chan was an assistant curator at the Hong Kong Museum of Art, and an assistant professor at the City University of Hong Kong. Her research interests focus on the production and consumption of art and cultural heritage in modern and contemporary China. Recent publications include The Making of a Modern Art World: Institutionalization and Legitimization of Guohua in Republican Shanghai (Leiden: Brill, 2017), “Representation of Chinese Civilization: Exhibiting Chinese Art in Republican China,” in The Future of Museum and Gallery Design (London: Routledge, 2018), and “In Search of the Southeast: Tourism, Nationalism, Scenic Landscape in Republican China,” (Twentieth-Century China, 2018). She is currently researching the making of scenic sites in modern China. Chan was a participant in the 2019 CAA-Getty International Program.

 

Iro Katsaridou has been the curator of modern and contemporary art at the Museum of Byzantine Culture in Thessaloniki, Greece since 2005. She studied art history at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the Université Paris I-Sorbonne, and also pursued museum studies at the City University of New York. Her doctoral dissertation focused on contemporary Greek photography (Aristotle University, 2010). For the past six years Katsaridou has been researching photography and art in World War I and II, during which time she has curated exhibitions on the subject and edited related catalogues. For the last four years she has been teaching as an adjunct faculty member at several Greek universities. She has co-edited two books about photography during the Nazi Occupation of Greece (1941-1944) and written articles and book chapters on photography, exhibition display policies, as well as the relationship between contemporary Greek art and politics. In 2019, she participated in the CAA-Getty International Program.

 

Cristian Nae is an associate professor at the George Enescu National University of Arts in Iași, Romania, where he teaches courses on contemporary art history, critical theory, visual and exhibition studies. He has benefited from scholarships and research grants from the Erste Foundation (Vienna), National Research Council, Romania (CNCS-UEFISCDI) , the CAA-Getty International Program, the Getty Foundation (Los Angeles), and New Europe College (Bucharest). His latest studies have appeared in collective volumes published by Wiley-Blackwell (2019, forthcoming) and Routledge (2018). Nae is the co-editor of Rethinking the Image of the World: Projects and Sketches. Contemporary Romanian Art 2010-2020 (Hatje Cantz, 2019, forthcoming). As a curator, he is the co-organizer of the exhibition Rethinking the Image of the World: Projects and Sketches (Musée Mill, La Louvrière, Belgium, 2019), which was part of the Europalia Arts Festival. Nae also curated Unfinished Conversations on the Weight of Absence, the exhibition marking Romania’s participation in the 58th Venice Biennale (2019). Nae participated in the first year of the CAA-Getty International Program, in 2012.

 

Nóra Veszprémi is a research associate for the European Research Council-funded project Continuity/Rupture: Art and Architecture in Central Europe 1918–1939 (CRAACE) at Masaryk University, Brno (Czech Republic). She is also an honorary research fellow at the University of Birmingham (UK), where she recently completed a project on museums in Austria-Hungary between 1867 and 1918. In 2014–15 she taught at the Institute of Art History at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest (Hungary), where she also received her PhD in 2013. Veszprémi specializes in nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century Central European art. A former curator at the Hungarian National Gallery, she is the author of a monograph on romanticism and popular taste in mid-nineteenth century Hungary (in Hungarian) and co-author (with Matthew Rampley and Markian Prokopovych) of two forthcoming volumes on museums in Austria-Hungary: An Empire on Display: The Art Galleries and Museums of Austria-Hungary (Penn State University Press, 2020); and Liberalism, Nationalism and Design Reform in the Habsburg Empire: Museums of Design, Industry and the Applied Arts (Routledge, 2020). She is currently working on a monograph about historical memory in Central Europe after the collapse of the Habsburg Empire. Veszprémi was a 2015 participant in the CAA-Getty International Program.

The following article was written in response to a call for submissions by CAA’s International CommitteeIt is by Sophie Halart, Professor of Art History at the Universidad Adolfo Ibañez, Santiago, Chile.

Figure 1. Promotional image of the Antúnez centenary celebration (photograph provided by the Ministerio de las culturas, las artes y el patrimonio)

In 2018-19, Chile celebrated the centenary of the visual artist, educator, and cultural figure Nemesio Antúnez (1918-93) (Fig. 1). The initiative, led by the family foundation in charge of Antúnez’s legacy, comprised several events, including roundtable discussions and archival and retrospective exhibitions throughout the country. In Santiago, the Museo de Bellas Artes (Fine Arts Museum) and the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (Museum of Contemporary Art), two institutions whose very structure and mission were profoundly modified under Antúnez’s leadership, organized a series of three exhibitions, each focusing on one aspect of his prolific career.

Figure 2. Manifiesto, installation view (photograph provided by the author)

The Museo de Bellas Artes hosted Manifiesto (Manifesto), a comprehensive retrospective of Antúnez’s artistic production (Fig. 2). Showcasing a selection of paintings, engravings, notebooks, and photographic archives, curator Ramón Castillo retraced both Antúnez’s international formation and his influence on the Chilean art scene. Initially trained as an architect in Chile, Antúnez secured a Fulbright grant in 1943 to study art in New York, where he attended Stanley William Hayter’s Atelier 17. Upon his return to Santiago in 1956, he founded his own engraving workshop, Taller 99, attended by important national artists like Roser Bru and Juan Downey. Antúnez’s interest in art education also led him to take part in the creation of the Universidad Católica’s School of Arts in 1959. Castillo’s exhibition offers an intimate gaze into Antúnez’s life and work, revealing the complexity of both. More importantly, the show considers the artist’s standing at the threshold of two epochs. A product of cosmopolitan modernity, Antúnez felt more acutely than most the changes that entry into the contemporary age would bring to Latin American art.

Figure 3. Construction of a lower ground floor at the Museo de Bellas Artes, Santiago (photograph provided by the author)

This temporal aspect of Antúnez is even more clearly evidenced in the second exhibition hosted by the museum. El Museo en Tiempos de Revolución (The museum in times of revolution), curated by Amalia Cross, examined the pivotal changes made by Antúnez when he became the Fine Arts Museum’s director in 1969. The appointment, which just preceded the presidential election of Socialist candidate Salvador Allende, reflected the implementation of an equally revolutionary agenda that sought to do away with the museum’s elitist image. Appealing to the etymological roots of the word museum, Antúnez opened the institution’s doors to a plurality of artistic media, including music and live performance, while striving to attract new, more diverse audiences. He also oversaw an important refurbishment of the building that included the construction of an additional, underground exhibition space dedicated to recent art (Fig. 3).

Figure 4. Liliana Porter, Wrinkle Environment, 1969. 2019 re-creation of the piece in the Museo de Bellas Artes, Santiago (photograph provided by the author)

While Antúnez shared some of the democratizing ideals of culture advocated by Allende’s government, his project to open the museum to new audiences and artistic practices—including an incipient conceptual scene—rejected strictly programmatic and propagandistic ends. Some memorable on-site interventions were performed under his tenure, including Juan Pablo Langlois’s Cuerpos Blandos (Soft bodies, 1969) and Cecilia Vicuña’s Otoño (Autumn, 1971), both pioneering the field of institutional critique in Chile. Through a display of archival documents and photographs, Cross’s curatorial work invites comparison of the infrastructural and conceptual modifications that took place in the museum. The exhibition also recreates an installation produced by Liliana Porter whom Antúnez had invited to exhibit in June 1969 along with Luis Camnitzer. A founding member of the New York Graphic Workshop (along with Camnitzer), Porter produced one of her “Wrinkled Environments,” a paper tapestry that covered the walls of the museum and which visitors were invited to modify by tearing away some of the sheets and discarding them on the floor (Fig. 4).

The 1973 military coup, which took place on the eve of an exhibition on Mexican muralism due to open a few days later, put an abrupt end to this period of political and artistic experiments and sent Antúnez into European self-exile. The return of a democratic government in 1990 allowed him to resume his work as director of the museum, a position he occupied until his death three years later.

Figure 5. Nemesio Antúnez: Panamericano, installation view (photograph provided by the author)

While these first two exhibitions focused on Antúnez during his time as director of the Bellas Artes, the show Nemesio Antúnez: Panamericano, which took place in the adjoining building of the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (MAC), focused on a previous and lesser-known period of Antúnez’s professional life, namely his tenure as director of that museum (1962–64) and his influential role in rethinking contemporary artistic creation along transdisciplinary and cross-regional lines. (Fig. 5). According to the show’s curator Matías Allende, Antúnez remains a ghostly figure in the MAC, his vision haunting an institution which, when it opened in 1946, was the first museum of contemporary art in Latin America. Allende’s research focuses on the way Antúnez contributed to rethinking contemporary creation along three axes: the national, the popular, and the American. Indeed, while the off-site events he staged in modest neighborhoods of Santiago revealed an early ambition to democratize art, the organization of the first Biennial of American Printmaking (1963) showed Antúnez’s desire to build a bridge between avant-garde art and popular crafts on a continental scale. Moreover, using the connections he had made while studying in the US, his acquaintance with Alfred Barr in particular, Antúnez also piloted the organization of exhibitions comprised of works on loan from MoMA’s permanent collection. In this exhibition, Allende opted for a densely documented installation that could be overwhelming at times. Thankfully, this encyclopedic fervor was offset by the presence of short videos the curator commissioned from the video artist Flavia Contreras. Somewhat dramatizing Antúnez’s aura as an educator, these videos were fictional recreations of the cultural TV program Ojo con el arte (Watch out with the art) that Antúnez hosted for two seasons on national TV (in 1970–71 and for a second run between 1990 and 1993).

While the three exhibitions discussed above were products of independent research and curatorial planning, each of which focused on one facet of Antúnez, they may also be understood as part of a collective portrait enriching the prolific and multifarious contributions he made to Chilean art and cultural life. At the same time, the pivotal role played by the private Fundación Nemesio Antúnez in the planning of the centenary, an organization founded and directed by relatives of the artist, also begs the question of the public sector’s passivity in providing official recognition to one of Chile’s most important cultural figures. While the Fine Arts Museum, a state entity, and the MAC, a university institution that also relies on public support, did eventually take an active part in the celebration, the delays that occurred in the opening of the exhibitions were due in part to an initial lack of enthusiasm on the part of the State. Thus, while the exhibitions comprising the backbone of the centenary celebrations must be praised for their quality, they also highlight the problematic absence of public funding for culture in Chile and the ways in which the writing of art historical narratives continue to be relegated to the goodwill of private institutions and family estates.

Filed under: International

CAA-Getty International Program Participating Alumni (left to right) Chen Liu, Nazar Kozak, Katarzyna Cytlak, Nadhra Khan, and Sarena Abdullah at the 2019 Annual Conference in New York. Photo: Ben Fractenberg

We’re pleased to announce this year’s participants in the CAA-Getty International Program. Now in its ninth year, this international program supported by the Getty Foundation will bring fifteen new participants and five alumni to the 2020 Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois.

The participants—professors of art history, curators, and artists who teach art history—hail from countries throughout the world, expanding CAA’s growing international membership and contributing to an increasingly diverse community of scholars and ideas. This year we are adding participants from four countries not included previously—Bolivia, Saudi Arabia, Côte d’Ivoire, and Singapore—bringing the total number of countries represented by the program to fifty. Selected by a jury of CAA members from a highly competitive group of applicants, the participants will receive funding for travel expenses, hotel accommodations, conference registration, CAA membership, and per diems for out-of-pocket expenditures.

At a one-day preconference colloquium, to be held this year at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the fifteen new participants will discuss key issues in the international study of art history together with five CAA-Getty alumni and several CAA members from the United States, who also will serve as hosts throughout the conference. The preconference program will delve deeper into subjects discussed during last year’s program, including such topics as postcolonial and Eurocentric legacies, interdisciplinary and transnational methodologies, and the intersection of politics and art history.

This is the third year that the program includes five alumni, who provide an intellectual link between previous convenings of the international program and this year’s events. They also serve as liaisons between CAA and the growing community of CAA-Getty alumni. In addition to serving as moderators for the preconference colloquium, the five alumni will present a new Global Conversation during the 2020 conference titled Things Aren’t Always as they Seem: Art History and the Politics of Vision.

The goal of the CAA-Getty International Program is to increase international participation in the organization’s activities, thereby expanding international networks and the exchange of ideas both during and after the conference. CAA currently includes members from sixty countries around the world. We look forward to welcoming the following participants at the next Annual Conference in Chicago.

2020 Participants in the CAA-Getty International Program

Irene Bronner, Senior Lecturer, NRF South African Research Chair in South African Art and Visual Culture, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Eiman Elgibreen, Assistant Professor of Art History, The Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Daria Jaremtchuk, Associate Professor of Art History, University of São Paulo, Brazil

Ganiyu Jimoh, Lecturer, University of Lagos, Nigeria, and Postdoctoral Fellow, Arts of Africa and Global Souths research program, Department of Fine Art, Rhodes University, South Africa

Mariana Levytska, Research Associate, Department of Art Studies, Ethnology Institute, UNAS (National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine)

Daniela Lucena, Head of Research Team, National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), University of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Ali Mahfouz, Director, Mansoura Storage Museum, Ministry of Egyptian Antiquities, Egypt

Priya Maholay-Jaradi, Convenor, Art History, National University of Singapore

Valeria Maria Paz Moscoso, Academic Coordinator and Advisor, Universidad Catolica Boliviana San Pablo, La Paz, Bolivia

Daria Panaiotti, Curator of Photography and Research Associate, The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Aleksandra Paradowska, Assistant Professor, University of Fine Arts, Poznań, Poland

Saurabh Tewari, Assistant Professor, School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal, India

Giuliana Vidarte, Chief Curator and Head of Exhibitions, Museum of Contemporary Art of Lima and Peruvian University of Applied Sciences, Peru

Julia Waite, Curator of New Zealand Art, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, New Zealand

Jean-Arsène Yao, University Félix Houphouët-Boigny, Côte d’Ivoire

Participating Alumni

Abiodun Akande, Senior Lecturer, University of Lagos, Nigeria

Pedith Chan, Assistant Professor of Cultural Management, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Iro Katsaridou, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Museum of Byzantine Culture, Thessaloniki, Greece

Cristian Emil Nae, Associate Professor, George Enescu National University of Arts, Iasi, Romania

Nora Veszpremi, Research Associate, Continuity/Rupture: Art and Architecture in Central Europe 1918–1939 (CRAACE), Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic

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The following article was written in response to a call for submissions by CAA’s International Committee. It is by Linda Tyler, a New Zealand curator, writer, and academic who is Convenor of Museums and Cultural Heritage at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

In the late 1990s, frustrated by the lack of a dedicated exhibition space for their work, a group of craft practitioners spearheaded an initiative to develop a dedicated craft gallery for Aotearoa (the Māori name for New Zealand). Following a successful bid for ongoing arts funding, Objectspace opened in 2004 in an old bank in the Auckland suburb of Ponsonby. It was the first of its kind, and after a dozen years of successful operation on this site, it underwent a transformation in 2017, moving into a purpose-designed building, and extending its scope to include architecture and design (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. Objectspace’s new building opened in July 2017. Photo: Rebekah Robinson

Still the only public institution dedicated to craft and design in the country, in 2018 it extended its mandate even further. Seeking to increase engagement with Māori, Pacific, and Asian audiences and also to diversify the communities of makers which it supported, Objectspace launched the Maukuuku Project, a program of community-led activity, guided by the kaupapa (principles) of co-leadership, access, and advocacy.

Figure 2. Tuvalu master artist of maua talima (things created with the hands), Lakiloko Keakea is shown in this photograph framed by an example of her work. Titled Fafetu: Lakiloko Keakea, the exhibition was on view from September 30-November 11, 2018. Photo: Haru Sameshima

The first project in the new building began with a two-year engagement with members of the Tuvaluan community (a Pacific island people), culminating in a solo exhibition of craft by Lakiloko Keakea (Fig. 2). Challenging traditional notions of what types of crafts are understood to be part of the discourse, Maukuuku aims to change the system, recognizing the origin of many galleries and museums as institutions of colonization. Rather than inviting people into the gallery to work within its organization in a tokenistic way, the idea is to transform the organizational culture by turning over the gallery’s resources to a range of source communities from across Moana Oceania, Asia, and other migrant cultures who now call Aotearoa home.

Figure 3. Kim Hak, Alive, 2014, kettle and chicken. Included in the exhibition Alive: Kim Hak, June 2-July 21, 2019. Photo: Kim Hak

The second Maukuuku project, coordinated by Zoe Black, the new staff member charged with effecting the new direction at Objectspace, was Alive, by Kim Hak. Sponsored by the Rei Foundation, an Auckland-based Japanese funder dedicated to supporting research about peace and conflict, Alive brought artist Kim Hak from his home in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to meet with twelve families who escaped the genocide in Cambodia in the late 1970s and resettled in Aotearoa as refugees. Wanting to document specific items that they brought with them—both precious and practical—Hak displayed the actual objects beside his photographs (Fig. 3). Often battered in transit, the focus on these material objects in the gallery setting prompted appreciation of the ordeal their owners had suffered and became a metaphor for the survival of their culture.

In a very short time, Objectspace has shown its ability to promote and advocate for art forms that have been marginalized, and communities that have never before been engaged by the gallery or museum sector in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Its ambition to introduce cultural change within the craft and design sector nationally, through forming co-leadership relationships with diverse communities of makers throughout Aotearoa is admirable. Already there has been increased engagement from Māori, Pacific, and Asian audiences, and it seems well underway toward fulfilling its mission to remove barriers to access.

The Maukuuku program will feature in a chapter written by Objectspace director Kim Paton for the forthcoming publication, Companion on Contemporary Craft, edited by Namita Gupter Wiggers, (Wiley Blackwell) to be published in 2020.

Filed under: International

The following article was written in response to a call for submissions by CAA’s International Committee. It is by Swati Chembakuran architectural historian at Jnanapravaha, a center for the arts in Mumbai, India. The author is also a 2019 alumna of the CAA-Getty International Program.  

Vibrancy in Stone: Masterpieces of the Đà Nẵng Museum of Cham Sculpture, by Trần Kỳ Phương, V. Văn Thắng, and Peter D. Sharrock. Photographs by Paisarn Piemmettawat (Bangkok: River Books, 2018)

In 2018, the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) partnered with the Đà Nẵng Museum of Cham Sculpture in central Vietnam to produce a remarkable and visually striking centenary catalogue of its world-renowned collection of the sacred arts of the Cham people of Vietnam. The publication of Vibrancy in Stone: Masterpieces of the Đà Nẵng Museum of Cham Sculpture was timed to coincide with the renovation and expansion of the museum. 

Beginning in the second century CE, settlements appeared along the central coast of what became Vietnam. The Chams probably migrated over the ocean from Borneo and were accomplished navigators. Their ports were the first call for any ship heading from China to India and the Arab world. Their role in the medieval maritime trade grew steadily and reached an apogee in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, when the great neighboring empire of Cambodia declined. The prosperity won from trade led to large scale temple construction earlier than the Cambodians.  

Figure 1. Map of Cham archaeological sites in Vietnam

When tourism resumed in Vietnam after the wars of the twentieth century, the museum quickly became a prime attraction in the port city of Đà Nẵng. It is the world’s only museum devoted exclusively to the art of ancient Champa, the name given to the civilization of the Cham people. With 500 objects on displayits collection far outnumbers those in the Hanoi and Ho chi Minh City History museums, as well as the Musée Guimet in Paris. 

Figure 2. Đà Nẵng Museum, Vietnam Photo: Trần Kỳ Phương

In the late nineteenth century, fifty sculptures were gathered by French colonial administrator and amateur/enthusiastic collector, Charles Lemire, in a public garden at Tourane (Đà Nẵng)forming the embryo of the future museum collection. Some years laterFrench architect and archaeologist Henri Parmentier took charge of the neglected artworks and proposed a museum for their protection, which opened in 1919 (Fig. 2). He compiled the first comprehensive catalogue 

French colonial research formed the basis of Cham studies. Today a growing number of Vietnamese archaeologists and art historians are taking an active interest in this subject, expanding our understanding of the ancient art. Ethnic Cham scholars still remain few in number. Almost seventy years after Parmentier’s catalogue, a short guidebook to the museum was published about Cham history and art (Trần Kỳ Phương, 1987). It marked the first catalogue of the collection compiled by Vietnamese researchers and highlighted the link between Vietnamese and French research. After the devastating twentieth-century wars in Vietnam, some of the objects in Parmentier’s 1919 catalogue had disappeared, been damaged, or moved to other institutions. At the same time, many recently discovered artifacts have been added to the museum inventory.  

Knowledge of Champa’s history, culture, and art, and an appreciation of its richness and uniqueness, has gradually progressed with the accumulation of new data and the engagement of various scholarly disciplines by both national and international scholars. Champa studies no longer appear in only French-language journals, as in the early twentieth century, but now attract a growing number of scholars from Europe, Asia, and North America, who work alongside Vietnamese experts 

Vibrancy in Stone is organized into two parts. Part I includes fourteen essays about the history and culture of Champa by Vietnamese and international scholars. Part II presents a stunningly illustrated chronology of Cham sculpture accompanied by meticulous descriptions and comments by contemporary scholars.  

The introductory essay by museum director Vo Văn Thắng discusses the history of the museum, its collection, changing installations over the years, and the current renovation and expansion of the building. Subsequent essays by Kenneth Hall, John Whitmore and Đỗ Trường Giang address the importance of several Champa ports extending along the central Vietnam coast and their active role in the maritime trade network. Champa was probably never a unified state or kingdom but rather a series of loosely linked smaller polities. Its capitals were widely separated settlements on different parts of the coast, which took turns assuming hegemony over others.  

Whitmore’s essay delineates fully for the first time the rise of Vijaya (in today’s Bình Đinh province) as the culture’s capital in the ninth century to its sudden demise in the fifteenth century.  

Several essays address the Hindu-Buddhist religion, its rituals, archeology, and inscribed objects (by Shivani Kapoor, Ann-Valérie Schweyer, John GuyArlo Griffiths, Lâm Thị Mỹ Dung, and—full  disclosure—myselfwhile others (by Trần Kỳ Phương and Parul Pandya Dhar) focus on the architecture, taking the reader through the history of Cham temples and highlighting the evolution of key construction techniques and design features that produced a series of tall, distinctive and elegant brick towers along the coastline (Fig. 3) 

Figure 3. Mỹ Sơn valley temple displaying long, elegant brick sanctuaries Photo: Trần Kỳ Phương

The iconography of the beautiful and vibrant Cham sculptures erected in these towers—referenced in the catalogue title—is the subject of chapters by Thierry Zéphir, Grace Chiao-Hui Tu, and Peter D. Sharrock. Cham art has hitherto been almost exclusively studied through an Indic lens but Hui-Tu’s work brings out many new and unseen Sinitic aspects in Cham sacred art. For example, ninth century monumental sandstone Buddha from Đồng Dương monastery is seated in the European” position with pendant feet and palms resting on the knees (Fig. 4). While Buddhas seated with pendant legs can be found in Indian, Southeast Asian, and Chinese Buddhist art traditions, this particular hand posture is seen only in China and Đồng Dương. 

Figure 4. Đồng Dương pedestal from Đồng Dương, Quảng Nam. 9th century, sandstone, 30 x 177 x 70 in. (76 x 449 x 389 cm); sandstone dais supporting the Buddha, 28 x 87 x 49 in. (70 x 222 x 124 cm). BTC 177-178 Photo: Paisarn Piemmettawat

The question of the relationship between Cham and neighboring Khmers forms the core of the paper by Peter D. Sharrock. Addressing the beautiful Khmer bronze of a naga-enthroned Buddha discovered by the French in the main Cham temple outside Vijaya, he points out that this icon was never part of Cham iconography. Hthen uses art historical and epigraphic evidence to untie a series of long-distorting knots in the history of the Khmer-Cham relationship. 

Part II of Vibrancy in Stone focuses on masterpieces of the museum, one of which is the beautiful bronze illustrated in Figure 5, found in the Đồng Dương monastery in 1978. Earlier labelled as Tārā or Prajñāparāmita, here it has been correctly identified as the female aspect of Avalokitesvara and the main cult image of the monastery. 

Figure 5. Lakṣmīndra-Avalokiteśvara, 9th century bronze found in the monastery of Đồng Dương. height 6 in. (115 cm). Attributes: lotus (right hand) and conch broken at the time of discovery. BTC 1651-BTĐN 535 Photo: Paisarn Piemmettawat

Other masterpieces include the most famous Mỹ Sơn Śivalinga pedestal (Fig. 6a-b), the only Cham sculpture that records the daily spiritual activities of ascetics performing rituals, practicing meditation, conversing, playing musical instruments, treating diseases, etc., and a widely acknowledge high relief of Trà Kiệu dancer draped in beads (Fig. 7). 

Figure 6a. Mỹ Sơn, 8th century temple pedestal displaying several daily ascetic activities, sandstone, 25 ½ x 107 x 131 in. (65 x 271 x 333 cm). BTC 6-22.4 Photo: Trần Kỳ Phương

Figure 6b. Details of the ascetic activities depicted on the Mỹ Sơn pedestal. Photo: Paisarn Piemmettawat

Figure 7. Trà Kiệu dancer/apsaras, Trà Kiệu, Quàng Nam, 11th century, sandstone, 43 x 106 in. (110 x 270 cm). BTC 118/1-22.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vibrancy in Stone brings together some of the most priceless and rare works of Cham art. As such, it proclaims the value and artistry of works by the Cham people whose heirs today are an ethnic minority in Vietnam. Equally important, it gathers together these beautiful and rare works of art as a resource for scholars, students, and connoisseurs alike.  

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This article was written by Janet Landay, project director of the CAA-Getty International Program since its inception.

2019 participants in the CAA-Getty International Program, photographed at the Annual Conference in New York. Photo by Ben Fractenberg

This is open season for the CAA-Getty International Program; that is, we’re accepting applications from international scholars between now and August 23rd to participate in next year’s program at the Annual Conference in Chicago. This will be the ninth year of the program and we’re looking for academics, curators, or artists who teach art history from countries not well represented in CAA’s membership (primarily non-Western countries from the global south, all parts of Asia, and Eastern Europe). Specifically, we want to bring scholars who are advancing our understanding of the visual arts, be it through art history, visual studies, or any number of intersecting disciplines, such as aesthetics, history, post-colonial studies, gender studies, cultural heritage research, etc. The range of topics addressed by participants since the program began nine years ago is remarkable, as exemplified in last year’s programs included at the end of this article.

The mission of the CAA-Getty International Program is to bring new voices to the CAA community to enrich the conversation about globalization and inclusion in visual arts scholarship. Since it began in 2012, the program has brought 120 scholars from 46 countries to its conferences, including representatives from Argentina, Albania, Bangladesh, Benin, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chile, China, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ghana, Greece, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, and Vietnam. Many of these scholars have returned to CAA conferences as speakers, session chairs, and members of CAA’s International Committee. They have also contributed articles to CAA’s publications and collaborated with scholars in the United States that they met while attending a conference.

Map showing home countries of 2019 CAA-Getty International Program participants. Map provided by Nazar Kozak.

Each year, US-based CAA members serve as hosts to the international scholars, introducing them to colleagues, guiding them through the conference’s vast array of sessions and programs, and frequently taking them to museums and collections in town. To date, over 60 CAA members have participated in the program, supported with honoraria from the National Committee for the History of Art.

In 2020, we will bring fifteen new scholars and five alumni to the Chicago conference. Please help us spread the word of this grant opportunity to colleagues or institutions in the regions mentioned above by sharing this link to the program’s description and application.

And if you would like to participate as a host, send me an email at jlanday@collegeart.org.

What follows is the program for two key events from the 2019 CAA-Getty International Program: a preconference colloquium on February 12th on international issues in art history at which twenty scholars participated, and an alumni conference session on February 14th that featured five CAA-Getty alumni. Included below is the program for the February 12th colloquium, followed by the abstracts for the February 14th alumni conference session.

Word cloud showing most frequently used words in the 2019 Preconference Colloquium of the CAA-Getty International Program. Illustration provided by Nazar Kozak.

PROGRAM
GLOBAL CONVERSATIONS 2019
PRECONFERENCE COLLOQUIUM

Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Starr Foundation Hall, Parsons School of Design

8:30 AM Coffee, welcome, and introductions

9:15 AM Examples of Defining or Constructing Aesthetics in Chinese and Japanese Art

Chair: Chen Liu, Harvard-Yenching Institute, Harvard University, 2018-19

The Making of Scenic Sites: Landscape Painting, Tourism and Nationalism in Republican China
Pedith Chan, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Art by Japanese Prisoners in New Zealand during WWII
Richard Bullen, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Lucy Driscoll and Developing a Theory of Chinese Painting
Jian Zhang, China Academy of Art, Hangzhou

CAA-Getty International Program preconference colloquium, February 12, 2019. Photo by Ben Fractenberg

10:30 AM Orientalism/Occidentalism

Chair: Nadhra Khan, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan

From Occidentalism to an Occidentalizing Art: An Iranian Gaze to the Occident
Negar Habibi, University of Geneva, Switzerland

Deconstructing Imperialism: The Intersection of Religion, Politics, and Design in the Iconography of a Christian Saint
Halyna Kohut, Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, Ukraine

Orientalism and Female Portraiture in Nineteenth-Century Painting in Romania
Oana Maria Nicuță Nae, George Enescu National University of Arts, Iasi, Romania

11:45 AM How Do We Approach Religious Art?

Chair: Nazar Kozak, Department of Art Studies, Ethnology Institute, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

The Last Judgment in Spanish America as Social Rhetoric of Salvation and Damnation
Tamara Quírico, State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Dancers, Musicians, Brahmins and Ṛṣis: Understanding the Temple Worship of the Pāśupata sect in Angkor, Cambodia
Swati Chemburkar, Southeast Asian Art and Architecture, Jnanapravaha, Mumbai, India

You Cannot See It: Access to Religious Artistic Materials
Stephen Fọlárànmí, Ọbáfémi Awólọ́wọ̀ University, Ilé-Ifè, Nigeria

1:00 PM Lunch

2:30 PM The Body, Identity, and Artistic Agency

Chair: Katarzyna Cytlak, Center for Slavic and Chinese Studies, University of San Martín, Argentina

Shifting Female Identity: Female Cross-dressing in Southeast Nigeria
Chukwuemeka Nwigwe, University of Nigeria, Nsukka

Challenging the “Unconscious”: Agnaldo Manoel dos Santos and the Revision of Afro-Brazilian Art
Juliana Ribeiro da Silva Bevilacqua, University of Campinas (Unicamp), Brazil

The Reinvention of the Body in Volatile Times: Political and Artistic Intersections between Buenos Aires and New York in the 1980s
Viviana Usubiaga, National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), University of San Martín/University of Buenos Aires, Argentina

3:45 PM Politics and Art in Dark Times

Chair: Sarena Abdullah, School of the Arts, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang

A Flame For Freedom
Marko Stamenkovic, ZETA Contemporary Art Center, Tirana, Albania

Sanitizing Memory through Erasure: Post-apartheid Nostalgia in Contemporary Visual Art Practice
Zamansele Nsele, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

The Crisis Displayed: Greece’s Participation at the Venice Art Biennale
Iro Katsaridou, Museum of Byzantine Culture, Thessaloniki, Greece

5:00 PM Wine Reception


GLOBAL CONVERSATIONS 2019
ALUMNI CONFERENCE SESSION

ABSTRACTS

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Creative Pedagogy: Mapping In-between Spaces Across Cultures
Nazar Kozak (Chair), National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

Art-historical curricula tend to provide imaginary “racks” on which each artwork could be assigned to chronological and geopolitical shelves. In practice, however, such systems has difficulties in accommodating phenomena that fall in-between proposed categorizations. Their presence in art-historical classrooms corresponds to cosmology ‘s Dark matter: it shapes the Universe while remains directly unobserved. Hybrid phenomena have produced an important impact on art scenes across historical periods and cultures, and illumination of this impact plays crucial role in making art history more fully global discipline. This session addresses cross-cultural entanglements and overlaps in which borders looses their fix and reveals their porosity. Structured around creative pedagogy it discusses specific historic cases from the teaching perspectives moving towards inclusive and collaborative paradigm especially in mixed-class environments engaging students and faculty from different countries. The panelist, who are the CAA-Getty International Program alumni from Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe, share their teaching methods that proves efficiency in navigating across cultures as well and theoretical optics providing optimal focus on transcultural dialog and reciprocal enrichment.

From left to right: Chen Liu, Nazar Kozak, Katarzyna Cytlak, Nadhra Shahbaz Khan, and Sarena Abdullah at the CAA-Getty International Program alumni conference session, February 14, 2019. Photo by Ben Fractenberg

An Italian in China: The Curious Case of Giuseppe Castiglione
Chen Liu, Tsinghua University

What happens when China and the West encounter each other? A clash of traditions may generate unexpected art forms that defy categorization, as tellingly revealed in the life and works of the multi-talented Italian Jesuit artist Giuseppe Castiglione (1688-1766), court painter to three Qing Emperors. Despite his popularity in China both during and after his lifetime, he is surprisingly little known in the West beyond those who specialize in classical Chinese art, with sparse literature in languages other than Chinese (mainly in Italian and French). Existing studies of Castiglione’s works, focusing largely on his paintings, tend to emphasize the “Western” trend he initiated in early modern China or his fusion of “European” and “Chinese” traditions, leading to oversimplification of both. A novel teaching course featuring cultural hybridity in both its subject and audience (a mixed group of Chinese and Western students) may help address such problems of transcultural interpretation and reception as exposed by the curious case of Castiglione. Using Castiglione’s art – painting, decoration and architecture – as a mirror, and by posing previously neglected questions such as “what is ‘non-Chinese’ or ‘non-Western’ in his works, and “which ‘Chinese’ and ‘European’ artistic styles/techniques did he adopt, adapt, or reject”, the course seeks to stimulate more profound reflections on the sophisticated, sometimes ambiguous traditions of both Chinese and European art, their compatibility and incompatibility, and to illuminate the confused in-between areas.

Pedagogy of the Transborders: Reviewing East European art from the perspective of transatlantic cultural exchanges with Latin American and African cultures
Katarzyna Cytlak, Centro de Estudios de los Mundos Eslavos y Chinos, Universidad Nacional de San Martín

Developed since the 1990s by Latin American thinkers, decolonial theory became an effective tool to teach East European art. Concepts, such as “border thinking” (Walter Mignolo) and “transmodernity” (Enrique Dussel), which dealing with bicultural identity in Latin America and postulating a non-hierarchical, inter-epistemic dialogue between cultures, offer a new framework to reconsider transatlantic artistic exchanges and cultural polarizations within the European continent. The paper will analyze how transmodern and decolonial approaches could shed new light on East European art and its dialogue with non-Western cultures. Quotations of customs and rites from Polish folklore by the Polish/Mexican artist Marcos Kurtycz were the result of his biculturalism, as well as an artistic strategy aiming at distinguishing himself on the Mexican scene. Self–identification with African cultures and politics by the Polish artists of the 1980s (Marek Sobczyk, The Luxus Group) could be explained as proof of the artists’ criticism of the Non-Aligned Movement, the symptom of their “radicalized utopian inclusivity” (Boris Groys), and as their critical comment on the late Socialist societies in the processes of Westernization.

Images of Guru Nanak: Locating Patterns of Words in Images
Nadhra Shahbaz Khan, Lahore University of Management Sciences

Traditional arts in the Indian subcontinent are strongly allied to oral traditions and to written text including both folklore and literature. Examples of these abound in secular and religious realms and are manifest in a large body of miniature paintings and murals showing the Hindu stories of Heer-Ranjha, Sassi-Punnoo and Dhruv Bhagat and relief panels illustrating Buddhist jataka tales and Hindu epic poems such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata. This paper maps the depiction of Guru Nanak, the first of the ten Sikh gurus, and their dependence of the Indian visual vocabulary taken from folklore, literature and cultural practices. He is usually painted with a fixed set of attributes, each laden with references to cultural practices and beliefs: some long forgotten, others have remained current until this day. Modern interventions however, have obscured meanings of many of these concepts and practices making it difficult today to fully understand their significance in their iconographic program. Refreshing the forgotten relationship between the word and image promises to lead to creative pedagogical possibilities where realms of imagination, rendition and performance can be navigated to connect not only with the creators and viewers of art but also the ones who dwell in it.

Cross Cultural Encounters through Creative Pedagogy in Teaching Art History
Sarena Abdullah, Universiti Sains Malaysia

This paper explains and discuses my recent and first Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) with an American university within the context of students’ cross-cultural encounters imbedded through Art History subject(s). In the 15 weeks of Malaysian Modern Art (VHS 202) and Selected Topics In Asian Art (ARTH 294) class, my American collaborator and me, designed and aligned our art history classes pedagogy cross-culturally taking in various considerations of Malaysian and American context into our teaching outcome. This paper will discuss how we have adopted and adapted the COIL module in our own classes, and innovate our collaborative engagements using Facebook as our main platform. From tasks such as personal introductions of students from both Malaysian and American classes, group videos of their cultural/national background, to producing group videos on artworks and /or material culture from local institutions, to completing cross collaboration group work tasks—this pedagogical approach had managed to expose students to different cross-cultural realities and encounters (and even time zones) weaved into their learning experiences. This paper will discuss the context of such creative pedagogy in the context of how Art History can also be a platform to disseminate creative knowledge today.

Apply to the 2019 CAA-Getty International Program

The following article was written in response to a call for submissions by CAA’s International Committee. It is by Inesa Brasiske, a Lithuanian art historian, lecturer, and recent graduate from the program in Modern and Contemporary Art: Critical and Curatorial Studies (MODA) at Columbia University, New York.

Figure 1. Sun & Sea (Marina), opera-performance by Rugile Barzdziukaite, Vaiva Grainyte, Lina Lapelyte at Biennale Arte 2019, Venice. Photo: © Andrej Vasilenko

Upon entering the former shipyard in the secluded Marina Militare complex located a few steps from the Arsenale, one finds a beach. More than a dozen sunbathers lie drowsily on pastel colored towels among their absentmindedly-scattered stuff, preoccupied with the usual holiday business (Fig. 1). One by one they sing out their monologues, occasionally growing into undulating choruses. The performers chant their personal dramas, complaints, and joys alongside sunscreen instructions and deadpan morning routines as viewers peruse the scene from above (Fig. 2).

Figure 2. Sun & Sea (Marina), opera-performance by Rugile Barzdziukaite, Vaiva Grainyte, Lina Lapelyte at Biennale Arte 2019, Venice. Photo: © Andrej Vasilenko

An opera-performance for thirteen voices, Sun & Sea (Marina) was selected to represent Lithuania at this year’s Venice Biennale, winning the country its first Golden Lion for best national pavilion. Noted by the jury for its experimental spirit and site-specificity, the work was created by three Lithuanian artists: filmmaker and director Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, writer Vaiva Grainytė, and composer and artist Lina Lapelytė. It is the second time the all-female trio united their forces in this genre. Their debut work, the opera Have a Good Day! (2013), focused on the inner lives and work routines of cashiers in a shopping center. With this follow-up, the artists continued to tap into the subject of reckless consumerism, accompanied by the same physical and emotional exhaustion that framed their first work, this time taking their exploration in an eco-critical direction.

The libretto is a set of individual, discrete stories stitched together by Grainytė who, with a poet’s economy, delivers a memorable spectrum of characters, including a wealthy mother recounting her son’s travel adventures, a workaholic engaged in self-analysis, and twins envisioning a 3D-printed biosphere. The text is charged with humor and absurdist juxtapositions in a surrealist vein; viewers witness an uneasy morphological sisterhood of floating jellyfish with plastic bottle caps, disturbing scenarios of picking chanterelles in the midst of winter, or drinking piña coladas at a barrier reef. These evocative narratives unfold through a minimalist score for synthesizer and voice composed by Lapelytė and sung by a group of performers with divergent musical backgrounds. Catchy melodies with repeating pulsing patterns running through high pitched arias and dreamy lullabies are responsible to a large extent for luring viewers into this ambiguous zone of relaxation and oblivion in the face of looming ecological disaster.

One of the most striking aspects of Sun & Sea (Marina) is the atypical positioning of the viewers vis-à-vis the scene, as they experience the opera-performance while looking down from the mezzanine which frames the sandy seaside into a horizontal tableau peppered with human and, occasionally, other-than-human bodies (Fig. 3). The director and scenographer, Barzdžiukaitė, brings a filmmaker’s eye to the work; the most recent of her own films is itself calibrated on an aerial perspective of a cormorant colony at the Lithuanian seaside. In the opera, the specific viewpoint works as a conceptual device aptly playing into the ecological theme of the piece. The non-human perspective that the audience embraces points to the limits of the anthropocentric view and suggests something alarming and at the same time slightly comical about the human species in all its flatness.

Figure 3. Sun & Sea (Marina), opera-performance by Rugile Barzdziukaite, Vaiva Grainyte, Lina Lapelyte at Biennale Arte 2019, Venice. Photo: © Andrej Vasilenko

The opera was first shown in Lithuania in 2017. Arranged in the atrium of the National Gallery of Art in Vilnius, the Lithuanian version was a slightly longer piece, repeated as a series of performances throughout one day. After its premiere, the work traveled to Germany, where it was shown in a former movie theater as part of the Staatsschauspiel Dresden theater’s repertoire. It is in Venice, however, that the work has been given its most complex treatment, fully exposing its eco-critical and social potential. The opera turned into an endurance performance-cum-installation, running continuously for eight hours at a time, with no beginning or end, once (and more recently twice) a week, while for the rest of the time it is presented as a (post-apocalyptic?) sound installation devoid of any living bodies or voices.  The authors did not limit their open-ended approach to experimenting with new formats alone; they also responded to local resources and communities. Under the curatorship of Lucia Pietroiusti, Curator of General Ecology and Live Programs at the Serpentine Galleries in London, the artists invited Venetian residents to perform the piece during the long run of the Biennale, commissioned the last existing printing house in the city to print the exhibition catalogue, and, together with Benjamin Reichen from the Åbäke design collective, collaborated with inmates of a local prison in a silkscreen workshop to produce the cover of the opera’s LP.

Figure 4. The Marina Militare complex, where Sun & Sea (Marina) is installed. Photo: © Andrej Vasilenko

Where much of ecologically oriented art tends to amplify our sensations in order to enable us to hear more sharply and see more clearly the scale of the climate crisis and ecological collapse, Sun & Sea (Marina) operates on a rather different register. A condensed image of the status quo of the contemporary world and its dystopian future is communicated through the recognizable, the quotidian, the banal. The durational aspect of the work, which puts seemingly surplus non-scripted real-life experiences on view—performers eating their lunch, chatting, getting exhausted and resting, kids running free and playing around, dogs barking—strengthen this realistic effect as does the participatory element inviting viewers to spend some time on the beach among the singing performers.

In the end, there might be no sea in the shipyard, but the beach there is real, and it mirrors our own day-to-day needs and deeds enmeshed in the forces of late capitalism punctuated by the logic of efficiency and endless consumption of goods as well as experiences. The end of the world here is void of spectacular images and sounds, but rather presents itself as what environmental writer Rob Nixon terms a “slow violence,” wherein ecological catastrophe does not occur in a sudden blaze but in a gradual relentless deterioration. Representation of the latter, Sun & Sea (Marina) seems to propose, curiously lies between accurate account and eloquent visionariness.

Filed under: International