Sculptures have often been shown behind glass and perspex, and the vitrine, in various forms, has been a popular mode of presentation for centuries. Many sculptors, Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst being notable among them, have deployed this convention by building the casing into the sculpture itself as an integral part of the work. Others have taken the museum vitrine - often at its most traditional - as a way of preserving and arranging a number of diverse products, and providing them with a collective group identity, whether these be their own sculptures, the residue of a performance, or the objects of others.
The showcasing of objects within the disciplining framework of glass has affected sculptors since at least the mid-nineteenth century - with the arrival of universal exhibitions, ethnographic and natural history displays and the plate glass windows beloved of retail display - and has increasingly influenced their practice and their envisioning of the viewing habits. This conference aims to take the topic both forwards and back in time - from the wunderkammer to the contemporary vitrine. We invite papers which examine the sculptural aspects of display across periods and place. We welcome proposals for papers from historians of art, museums and exhibition design, as well as from practising artists and architects.
Please send a proposal of no more than 500 words, and a brief CV, to Kirstie Gregory, firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline for proposals: 1st April 2009.
Conference will be held Friday 17th July 2009 at the Henry Moore Institute
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