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Announcement
April 17, 2013

Open call for papers: Sites of Construction

Asia Art Archive

Sites of Construction: Exhibitions and the making of recent art history in Asia

This symposium will explore the role exhibitions play in the development of art historical canons, pedagogy, and the public reception of recent art in and from Asia.

Exhibitions are where artworks meet their publics. Lately, exhibition histories have become the subject of considerable international research interest. In the context of Asia, however, in the absence of systematic public collections and substantial academic art history departments dedicated to 20th- and 21st-century art from the region, exhibitions are more than just sites of display and interaction. Exhibitions—and by extension, curatorial strategies, institutional demands, and forms of art writing accompanying exhibitions—have become the primary sites of art historical construction for recent art from the region.

Anchored around a series of exhibitions of Chinese art that took place in or around 1993 and will serve as a collective case study, this symposium invites contributions from scholars that frame a broader enquiry centred on exhibitions of recent art in and from Asia:

Exhibitions as sites of art historical construction: What are the individual and institutional exigencies driving exhibition-making and circulation? What is the impact of site in shaping reception?

Agents of art historical writing: Who is writing art history and for whom? What are the different trajectories of art historical writing in different sites?

Pedagogies of art history: What is being taught in courses of modern & contemporary Asian art history? How is the reliance on exhibitions impacting the field of art history?

The symposium is equally interested in issues of theory and practice, such as comparative trajectories of curatorial and institutional practice; the specificities of site in terms of geography and type (biennial, museum, alternative art space); exhibitions as collection building vehicles; language, translation, and circulation of texts; constructions of nation, region, Asia, and Asian in international discourses; comparative studies from regions outside Asia as a point of comparison; audience-building and issues of reception; the role of the market as site and agent; sites of knowledge production; case studies critically reviewing the influence of key exhibitions, institutions and agents, and so on.

The symposium has invited three keynote speakers:
John Clark, Professor of Asian Art History, University of Sydney
Irit Rogoff, Professor of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London
Gao Shiming, Vice Dean of the School of Inter-Media Art, China Academy of Art, Hangzhou

To submit:

Please submit by Friday 3 May 2013 to [email protected], listing ‘Sites of Construction’ as the subject line:
1. A 200-word abstract written in English
2. Curriculum vitae with complete e-mail, phone, and mailing address
Incomplete or late submissions will not be considered. Final papers will be delivered in English.

Final entries will be reviewed by a jury including:

Iftikhar Dadi, Chair of the Department of Art, Cornell University
Patrick Flores, Professor of Art History, Theory, and Criticism, University of the Philippines
Joan Kee, Assistant Professor, History of Art, University of Michigan

Schedule
Friday 3 May 2013: Proposals due
Friday 31 May 2013: Selected speakers notified
Friday 2 August 2013: Draft papers submitted
Monday 16 September 2013: Final papers submitted

Flights, accommodation, and a modest honorarium will be offered to accepted participants.

The symposium will be accompanied by a film programme, which looks at the moving image as an alternative site of art historical construction through more than 20 films screened with multiple partners in Hong Kong from May to October 2013.

More information on Sites of Construction and its accompanying film programme will be available in June on AAA’s website.

This project is financially supported by the Arts Capacity Development Funding Scheme of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Asia Art Archive is an independent non-profit organisation dedicated to documenting the recent history of contemporary art in Asia within an international context. Founded in 2000, AAA is one of the world’s leading public resources for contemporary Asian art and it continues to grow through systematic research and information gathering. Comprised of 85% donated material, AAA is committed to creating a collection that belongs to the public; accessible free of charge on-site and searchable online, the collection is now accessible globally via the Collection Online, which launched in June 2012. More than a static repository waiting to be discovered, AAA is a proactive platform, instigating critical thinking and dialogue that generate new ideas and works that continually reshape the Archive itself.

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