Source: London Middle East Institute (LMEI), SOAS, University of London
Date: 5 July 2013 (9:00 AM) to 6 July 2013 (7:00 PM)
Venue: Brunei Gallery, Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, London
artwork by Iranian artist Leila Pazooki
There have been limited attempts to theorise unresolved questions about definitions and regional/local forms of logic in the contemporary global art discourses. Therefore addressing these deficiencies is now timely when we see the growing interest in the different levels of the market and exhibitions and gradually in academia, in particular in departments of art history and cultural studies in European and North American universities.
This conference will look at this increasingly important and stimulating subject. It will examine the state and future of contemporary Middle Eastern art history within this context. It will discuss the themes by attending to the development of modern and contemporary art from the Middle East in an extended historical and global perspective. Furthermore, one of the objectives of this conference is to reflect the methodological fundamentals of art history and cultural studies and how they could be applied when studying contemporary art from the Middle East. It will also investigate how contemporary, so-called global, theories impact on the making of art in this region. Reflecting on recent exhibitions and curatorial projects, it aims to deal with the question of what is lost in the process of transfer and how it can be reclaimed in the art of the region with its cultural modes.
The conference will involve the international body of art theorists and historians, together with regional scholars and professionals in the field, in discussing different aspects of the subject through the various sessions and panels. While presenting interdisciplinary frameworks, it will try to provide a comprehensive insider and outsider’s perspective of artistic trends and the affinity of art theoretical discourses with art production in the Middle East today. The conference will deal with the issue of how the interpretation and contextualisation of contemporary art from the Middle East affect its understanding at home and in global terms. It will also attend to cultural diasporas and their problematisation of historical conceptions of place, and what position the diaspora plays in defining contemporary Middle Eastern culture.
Convened by: Hamid Keshmirshekan, History of Art Department, Oxford University
Organiser: London Middle East Institute
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Contact Tel: 020 7898 4330
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