102nd conference of the College Art Association (CAA), Chicago, February 12-15, 2014
Deadline Monday, May 6, 2013.
Kirk Savage, Department of History of Art and Architecture, University of Pittsburgh, email@example.com
Mechtild Widrich, Department of Architecture, ETH Zurich, firstname.lastname@example.org
At the turn of the 1990s, James E. Young defined the countermonument as “a monument against itself”—an antiauthoritarian, ephemeral, interactive memorial practice. Heralded as a postmodern break with grand narratives in public art, the term embraced phenomena of the previous decade as physically disparate as Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Art Spiegelman’s comics. What these works shared was an emphasis on personal, non-didactic engagement: the self, emotion, and even self-reflexivity were enshrined in commemoration. Since then countermonuments have gained an institutional niche.
From a distance of thirty years, it is now time to reconsider the proclaimed break with tradition: Can a monument that questions its own authority be politically effective? Does an individualized, corporeal approach to the past open up or foreclose history? How can a state-commissioned memorial avoid instrumentalization? Papers may address key theoretical terms and debates as well as monument case studies.
Please send an abstract of one to two double-spaced, typed pages, a letter explaining speaker’s interest and expertise in the topic, a CV, and the CAA participation proposal form (see http://www.collegeart.org/) to both session chairs before May 6th, 2013.
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