Research Network for Transcultural Practices in the Arts and Humanities

Activities organized by RNTP

June 2017

WORKSHOP in line with documenta 14

De-essentializing Difference − Acknowledging Transculturality
Art (History) Education and the Public Sphere in a Globalized World 
Kunsthochschule Kassel (9 June 2017, 2:30-6:30 pm, room “Interim”)

In line with documenta 14’s attempt to re-think and transform public spheres in face of the current crisis of democracy, the workshop explores how art and art history education respond to this challenge from multiple cultural, historical, discursive and socio-political perspectives. It seeks to examine specific realms and practices of publicness with respect to the power structures of more or less entangled art worlds by addressing transcultural processes of subjectivation and community building. To counter essentialisms and politicize difference, we would like to critically discuss the potentials and pitfalls of both national/ist educational agendas as well as neoliberal dismantling of public institutions. We are particularly interested in socially engaged examples of art education, art history education and education through art (as practiced in academies, museums, exhibitions, schools, universities and other non-institutional initiatives) that take into account the inherent transculturality of the arts and humanities. These include, but are not limited to case studies on how policies, rhetoric regarding immigration, race, gender and representation, and increasing economic inequalities reverberate through art and art history education.

To see the program please click here.

May 2016

WORKSHOP SERIES
"Seeing through history"
Workshop Series with Claire Farago (University of Colorado Boulder) at Heidelberg University (Part I, May 18, 2016) and at Free University Berlin (Part II, May 24, 2016)

The two-part workshop “Seeing through history” re-considers art historical practice at an epistemological level, which presents an indispensable condition for the conceptualization and practice of art history in a transcultural perspective.

Since epistemological frameworks are constituted through particular histories and engender specific forms of knowledge related with objects, agents, artistic practices and aesthetic concepts, they command particular research questions that might not be relevant or transferable when addressing art related phenomena in different regional and cultural contexts and when taking into account diverging affiliated institutional structures. 

The workshop series hence addresses the need of transcultural art historiography to account for multiple epistemological frameworks and their related histories. It poses the (self-) critical question how these frameworks have been constructed and re-constructed in cultural processes of exchange and negotiation and seeks to overcome dominant and essentializing categories of art historical writing as an institutionalized practice rooted in 19th century Europe. Consequently, the workshop series invites to also reflect on the ethical dimensions of writing art history. How can the individual researcher as well as powerful institutions of art history – the art history department, the museum, the art academy, the art market, to name but a few and culturally specific instances – productively and consciously relate to, critically reflect, and even partially change the situatedness in specific socio-political settings that (in-) form institutional authority and affiliated research horizons.

An activity of the RNTP-Research Network for Transcultural Practices in the Arts and Humanities in collaboration with the Chair for Global Art History of Heidelberg University and the DFG-Research Unit FOR 1703 Transcultural Negotiations in the Ambits of Art. Comparative Perspectives on Historical Contexts and Current Constellations, organized by Birgit Hopfener (FU Berlin) and Franziska Koch (Heidelberg University).

Download program and abstracts.

November 2015

INTERNATIONAL KICK-OFF CONFERENCE

"Present’s disjunctive unity. Constructing and deconstructing histories of contemporary cultural and aesthetic practices" International Conference at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (November 26-28, 2015)

What concepts of “the contemporary” are there around the world? What are their historical contexts? What cultural, aesthetic and artistic theories and practices did they generate?

The concept of “the contemporary” in art and culture has its own history; paradoxically, contemporaneity in itself is historical. It is also determined by the many cultural and regional contexts in which ideas of the present and contemporaneity are negotiated. Hence, there are varying histories of the contemporary, each informed by specific socio-political conditions and geo-political power structures. Historical turning points such as the end of the Second World War in 1945 or the end of the Cold War in 1989 prompted certain narratives of contemporaneity and shaped specific historiographical modes through which people in different places reflect on meanings and patterns of the past in relation to the present and tell stories in different ways.

The conference combines socio-political, historical and other theoretical perspectives, seeking appropriate categories for these different historiographical genealogies.

For more information, please click here.