The Arts Council of the African Studies Association is seeking papers proposals for a various panels for the upcoming Triennial Symposium to be held in Los Angeles March 23 to 26, 2011. Please respond the the individual panel organizers if you have a paper to propose.
1. Marketing African Contemporary Art: The role of commercial galleries in the shaping of artistic careers and discourse.
Panel Proposal: It is a truism that the art market exemplifies capitalism in its purest form. Newer commercial galleries on the African continent have generally adopted the model of established art galleries in major western cities: individual artists are brought into the ‘stable’, provided with one-person or group exhibitions, and promoted through networking, gallery publications and paid announcements in the media. This panel will explore the influence of commercial galleries on the identification and shaping of the careers of African artists. What sorts of pressures are brought to bear on artists after they join a gallery? How do galleries articulate their roles? In what ways do the forces of the international art market, including powerful patrons, influence the selection of new talent and the artist’s own direction? What is the influence of the critical analyses in gallery-funded publications on the art journals in which they advertise? Are the non-commercial sectors of the African art world dependent on this system, and if so, how?
This panel welcomes proposals from artists, journalists/critics, cultural historians and gallery directors/curators; the latter may be associated with either for-profit or non-profit galleries.
Media requirements: digital projector and screen(s)
Contact Information of Presenter:
Associate Professor emerita, contemporary art and visual culture
60 Glen Road, Apt. 202
Brookline, MA 02445
617-730-9447 (home); 617-319-0803 (cell)
2. PANEL PROPOSAL FOR THE 15TH TRIENNIAL SYMPOSIUM ON AFRICAN ART
Panel Title: Documentary/Archive?
Proposers: Rory Bester (School of Arts, Wits University)
Sean O’Toole (Editor, Art South Africa)
In an essay entitled “Documentary and Corporate Violence”, Allan Sekula states: “A political critique of the documentary genre is sorely needed”. Since Paul Weinberg’s seminal essay on documentary photography in Staffrider magazine in the late 1980s, there have been few, if any, sustained statements on post-apartheid documentary practice in South Africa. The conditions for the contemporary production and circulation of photographs in exhibition and books has been influenced by an archival turn in the second half of the 1990s, and which still remains a substantial influence on the constitution of contemporary art making in South Africa. This panel is interested in the intersection of the different ‘factual’ possibilities of both documentary and archive. The panel seeks to explore the extent to which contemporary South African documentary practices might be trapped in a social-realist mode in which the archive plays a central mediating role. We are seeking papers that examine the different ‘documentary’ or ‘factual’ modes in post-apartheid South African photography, as well as how archival and other factors have ameliorated stasis and change within the genre.
Contact Information: Rory.Bester@wits.ac.za
15th Triennial Symposium on African Art (UCLA, March 23-26, 2011)/ Theme: Africa and Its Diasporas in the Market Place: Cultural Resources and the Global Economy
3. African Art and the Market Place
The notion of 'art' (versus material culture) includes the proposition that true masterpieces exist and that these have the potential to transcend time, place, and culture in significance and value.
This panel encourages the submission of papers that explore how the public and private sectors value traditional and contemporary African art, and how value is justified by both tangible properties (materials of construction, utilitarian value as a functional object, its completeness and condition), and intangible properties (supply and demand, the legal right to own, provenance, artistic/aesthetic merit, symbolic significance, and the potential to appreciate over time).
Papers that explore internal and external forces that affect evaluation and valuation are welcome, including discussions of technological advances (advent of digital media, online auctions, and new buying and authentication options) that have helped to secure a global interest in Africa art.
Michael W. Conner PhD., ISA-AM
ArtConsul Collections Management & Appraisal
4002 Turnberry Drive, Champaign, IL 61822
Cell: (217) 369-9875 FAX-PH: (217) 352-5641
University of North Carolina
Department of Art
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3405 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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