Global Modernisms: Contiguities, Infrastructures and Aesthetic Practices
Annual Conference of the Forum Transregionale Studien and the Max Weber Foundation – Deutsche Geisteswissenschaftliche Institute im Ausland
Concept by Atreyee Gupta, Hannah Baader (Kunsthistorisches Institut Florenz/Max-Planck-Institut), Patrick Flores (University of the Philippines and the Vargas Museum, Manila)
5-7 November 2015, Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), Berlin
Taking the years between 1905 and 1965 as the temporal frame, this conference seeks to rethink Global Modernisms from a transregional perspective. In the recent past, the term Global Modernisms has gained significant currency. Yet, conceptualizations of avantgardism and formal innovation articulated in Paris, New York, Weimar or Moscow continue to inform Global Modernisms’ intellectual field. Global Modernisms then risks becoming a symptom of a new Westernism that masquerades as the universal. This conference seeks a more constitutive conceptual vision. Understanding Global Modernisms as clusters of artistic, intellectual, technological, institutional, socio-cultural, and political arrangements, the conference focuses on this field as an effect of contiguities and infrastructures. We approach contiguities as global and local zones of intellectual and artistic proximity and difference and infrastructure as a combination of physical, political, social and intellectual formations. The conference then aims to situate the concept of Global Modernisms within the scalarity of the macro, meso and the micro and within the plurality of temporal and geographical spaces, movements, and events. To what extent did the relation between material infrastructure (institutions, the formation of disciplines, public policy, architecture, and engineering) and immaterial infrastructure (domination, freedom of movement, gendered hierarchies of power) generate semantic conditions for articulating aesthetic, intellectual, and critical concerns in dispersed parts of the world? Might thinking in terms of contiguities and infrastructures allow us to jettison conceptions of repetition, influence, and derivation that continue to haunt modernisms’ perceptual field?
Postwar – Art between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945-1965:
21–24 May, 2014, Haus der Kunst, Munich
Postwar – Art between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945-1965 emerges from a 2014 international conference that Atreyee Gupta co-convened with Okwui Enwezor and Ulrich Wilmes at Haus der Kunst (in partnership with Tate Modern, Goethe Institut, Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, and Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich). A co-edited volume, Postwar – Art between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945-1965, brings together 34 essays that bring into sharp focus formal differences and interconnections, elective affinities and constitutive differences that shaped modern and contemporary art in Europe, Asia, the Pacific Rim, Africa, the Mediterranean, North America, and South America during the decades following the conclusion of the Second World War. The book is one component of a multi-year multi-part research and exhibition project that is being undertaken at Haus der Kunst.