Art and the City
A Conference on Postwar Interactions with the Urban Realm
Amsterdam, 11-12 May 2006
Since the Second World War, the metropolises of Europe and the United States have undergone a period of enormous growth, in some cases followed by an almost equally rapid decline and eventual rebirth. Even today, in an era of supposed globalization, cities continue to generate and project a unique identity. In all cases, these developments have brought with them not only economic and social change, but also significant cultural transformations, which have found their reflection in the visual arts, literature, film and music. The physical city – its streets, sidewalks, cafés, buildings and transportation systems – as well as its mental spaces have proven a fertile breeding ground for art in general. The products of this interaction, as well as its precise mechanisms, are the subject of this conference. How have artists, writers, filmmakers, composers and musicians dealt with the singularity, complexity and diversity of their urban surroundings? What is the city they create or reveal? In what ways does the metropolis contribute to their work? How have they absorbed and transformed their various environments? And how, in turn, do these works alter the city and our perception of it? What do they tell us about how we live, or can live, in the places like New York, London, Paris or Berlin?
In addition to papers examining the “imaging” of the city in diverse media (visual arts, film and photography, but also architecture, design, advertising, performance, literature and music), we are also seeking papers on the following: use of the material objects and aspects of the city; communication and interaction with the city’s inhabitants; fetishization of the urban realm; utopias and/or heterotopias; transformative and performative practices in the public sphere; the artist’s “civic” body; the urban unconscious and/or repressed, etc. Central to all these themes should be the artistic interaction with the city as a physical entity and a mental space. Moreover, the committee is interested in papers that discuss the challenges this research object poses on current historical and analytical research methods.
Abstracts of no more than 200 words, accompanied by a brief biography (70 words maximum) should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject line: Art and the City Conference
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