Thursday, December 27, 2018

New Book Announcement: "Mapping Modernisms: Art, Indigeneity, Colonialism" (Duke UP)

Mapping Modernisms: Art, Indigeneity, Colonialism, edited by Ruth B. Phillips and Elizabeth Harney (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2018).

Contributors: Bill Anthes, Peter Brunt, Karen Duffek, Elizabeth Harney, Sandra Klopper, Heather Igloliorte, Anitra Nettleton, Chika Okeke-Agulu, Jack Rushing III, Damian Skinner, Nicholas Thomas, Norman Vorano. 

Pages: 456
Illustrations: 117 b/w; 11 color 

* This is the first volume of the Multiple Modernisms Project (2008-2017)

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

EL ANATSUI: Triumphant Scale -- Announcement

El Anatsui: Triumphant Scale

Exhibition, 08.03.19 — 28.07.19

In March 2019, Haus der Kunst will present El Anatsui: Triumphant Scale, a major survey of the work of the acclaimed artist El Anatsui (*1944, Anyako, Ghana), perhaps Africa’s most prominent living artist. This survey — the largest ever mounted on Anatsui’s work —will occupy the museum’s entire East Wing and encompass every media in the artist’s prodigious fifty-year career. As the exhibition title suggests, the survey will focus on the triumphant and monumental quality of Anatsui’s sculptures, with the signature bottle-cap series developed over the last two decades situated at the core of the presentation. Along with these ambitious works, with their imposing physical presence and dazzling colors, the exhibition will also include wood sculptures and wall reliefs spanning the mid-1970s to the late 1990s; ceramic sculptures of the late 1970s; as well as drawings, prints, and books. In addition, Anatsui will create several new sculptures responding to the sweeping scale of the museum’s galleries, including a grand outdoor work on the building’s monumental façade.

Anatsui’s artistic practice exemplifies a critical search for alternative models of artmaking that in turn question the foundation of modernist ideals of artistic autonomy and aesthetic purity. Based in Nigeria since 1975, when he arrived as a lecturer in the vibrant Department of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Anatsui’s ideas were formed in the context of a creative environment marked by artistic experimentation, aesthetic research, and creative energy which existed in tandem with the belief that great art can be developed anywhere in the world, independent of the so-called art centers of the West. Anatsui and his contemporaries at Nsukka, which included world-renowned artists, writers, poets, and dramaturges, were motivated by an abiding belief that their work could contribute to enlarging the scope of artmaking in a much-expanded, global contemporary art scene. As Anatsui once stated: “Art grows out of each particular situation, and I believe that Artists are better off working with whatever their environment throws up.” The premise of this exhibition is to explore the variegated paths of creation the artist has taken to formulate a new approach to sculpture, which in turn made him one of the most formidable sculptors of our time.

The exhibition is generously supported by the Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne. The catalogue is published by Prestel.

Curated by Okwui Enwezor and Chika Okeke-Agulu (Assistant: Damian Lentini)

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Deutsche Welle Interview on "Macron Report"

Last week I attended an engaging conference: Heritage Deferred: Colonialism's Past and Present, organized by the Goethe-Institut and Prussian Heritage Foundation at the Ethnological Museum, Dahlem, in Berlin. The conference opened on November 22, ending the next day, Friday. That same Friday morning saw the release of the much anticipated Sarr-Savoy Report commissioned by French President Macron in response to his call for restitution of stolen, pillaged African art objects that came into French museums in the age of empire. Quite a few journalists came to the conference seeking opinions and responses to the report; what it means for Germany (where they are busy building a supermuseum--the Humboldt Forum--in the center of Berlin for their own ethnographic collections) and the world. Here is a podcast of my interview on Deutsche Welle that Friday:  

Sunday, October 21, 2018

International Postdoctoral Fellowship @ Princeton

**This is a fantastic, well-resourced, opportunity for postdoctoral scholars in the humanities and social sciences. --Chika
Princeton University is pleased to announce the call for applications to the Fung Global Fellows Program at the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS) for the 2019-20 academic year. Each year the program selects six scholars from around the world to be in residence at Princeton for an academic year and to engage in research and discussion around a common theme. This year, six fellowships will be awarded: up to two senior scholars, four early-career scholars and one postdoctoral scholar.  Fellowships are awarded to scholars employed outside the United States who are expected to return to their positions, and who have demonstrated outstanding scholarly achievement and exhibit unusual intellectual promise. During the academic year 2019-20, the topic will be “Thinking Globally.” We invite applications from scholars whose work addresses this topic in any historical period or world region and from any disciplinary background.

Applications for the Early Career and Senior Scholar fellowships are due on November 20, 2018; Postdoctoral applications are due November 9, 2018. Learn more about the topic, eligibility requirements and the application process here.

Monday, October 15, 2018

El Anatsui at the Carnegie International 2018

Image courtesy of El Anatsui and Dee Briggs

Carnegie Museum of Art. Courtesy

Leading contemporary artist El Anatsui has just completed his latest outdoor sculpture--installed on the facade of the Carnegie Museum of Art as part of this year's Carnegie International, one of the few major, international annual exhibitions hosted in the United States. At 10 x 54 meters, this tremendous work, unprecedented in its ambition and deployment of unusual material (here aluminum printing plates from local publishers, mirrors and bottle caps), this is the work of a master at the top of his game; an artist who, come to think of it, has all but reached what one might call a state of artistic grace, a place only a few artists across generations and cultures ever get to. 
But guess what? Imagine then what he is up to in Munich where he is in the process of confronting a space twice as massive as the Carnegie Museum. Fingers crossed. Come March 2018!

Getty/ACLS Postdoctoral Fellowships in the History of Art

Getty/ACLS Postdoctoral Fellowships in the History of Art

The American Council of Learned Societies invites applications for fellowships to support research and/or writing by early career scholars, made possible by the generous support of the Getty Foundation. These fellowships provide an academic year of support for scholars from around the world for a project that will make a substantial and original contribution to the understanding of art and its history. In the 2018-19 competition, ACLS will award 10 fellowships, each with a stipend of $60,000 plus up to $5,000 for research and travel costs. Awards also will include a one-week residence at the Getty Research Institute following the fellowship period.

  • Applications are welcome from scholars worldwide without restriction as to citizenship, country of residency, location of proposed work, or employment. 
  • Applicants must have a PhD that was conferred between September 1, 2013, and December 31, 2017. 
  • Applicants who earned their PhDs in and/or are currently employed in any humanistic field may apply, so long as they demonstrate that their research draws substantially on the materials, methods, and/or findings of art history. 
  • Applications must be completed in English by the applicant.
Deadline: October 24, 2018, 9 pm EDT 

More information on Getty/ACLS Postdoctoral Fellowships in the History of Art is available at Applications must be submitted through the online system at @acls1919 

Monday, September 17, 2018

"Ways of seeing, ways of showing: museums and their collections in global context," A Symposium at Pinacoteca, São Paulo

 The Pinacoteca displays its collection on a long-term exhibition inaugurated in October 2011. Called Art in Brazil: a story at the Pinacoteca de São Paulo, it follows a largely chronological order, offering the visitor a route through the unfolding of the visual arts and the creation of an art system in Brazil, from the colonial period to the 1970’s. 
As a first step in the plan to renew the presentation of the collection, the Pinacoteca’s team aims to promote a series of conversations around the displaying of national art collections in the global context.
At this time, we find a methodological and conceptual approach to the issue the most productive. Gathering scholars and museum leaders to present reflections, experiences and case studies will allow us to drawn guidelines to face the specificities of Pinacoteca’s collection and of Brazilian art stories in a global perspective. Our goal is that this gathering will promote a reflection on the display of collections upon it in the light of recent revisions in art history, such as the post-colonial debate, center-periphery world dichotomies, erudite and non-erudite art, gender and ethnicity.
Therefore, Pinacoteca will host a two-day symposium at the museum, from September 20th to 21st. We outline a set of three main issues that we propose to be addressed individually by one of the three sessions of the seminar:
Session 1 will be devoted to the question: How museums can question and expand artistic canons? Is it possible to go beyond national stories to tell global stories of art? Session 2 will be addressing the current predominance of contemporary art in the art museum world, posing the question, “all art history is contemporary history?”,  reflecting upon some experiences of contemporary art intervention in historic collections. Session 3 will be reflecting on the specific ways we narrate through exhibitions, through chronological, thematic, conceptual or comparative approaches.

September 20th, 2018
10h – 10h15- Opening session and welcoming remarks.
Jochen Volz, Diretor Geral, Pinacoteca de São Paulo.
10h20 – 11h10 - Session 1. : How museums can question and expand artistic canons? Is it possible to go beyond national stories to tell global stories of art?

Opening Conference: "Museum as Textum, Museum as Image, Museum as Agency," Eva Maria Troelenberg, University of Utrecht, Holland.
11h10 – 12h- Q & A

12h – 14h Lunch time – Gallery Visit

14h-16h30 – Session 2. All art history is contemporary history? Contemporary art interventions in historical narratives.

Panel: Agustin Pérez Rubio, Carla Zaccagnini, artist and Jochen Volz, Pinacoteca de São Paulo.
16h30-18h – Q & A

September 21st, 2018
10h -10h50 – Session 3. Ways of narrating art history in museums: comparativisms, conceptualisms and temporalities on display.

Panel: Naine Terena, UEMT, Helouise Costa, MAC-USP.
10h50 – 12h –Q & A

12h-14h Lunch time – Gallery Visit.

14h-16h Session 3 Ways of narrating art history in museums: comparativisms, conceptualisms and temporalities on display.

Closing Conference: "Curating Within and Across National Boundaries: Thoughts on Comparative Mode," Chika Okeke-Agulu, Princeton University, USA.
16h-17h – Q & A

17h-17h30 – Closing remarks, Valeria Piccoli and Fernanda Pitta, Pinacoteca de São Paulo.

Jochen Volz is the General Director of Pinacoteca de São Paulo and the curator of the Brazilian Pavilion at the 57th Biennale di Venezia (2017). He was the chief curator of the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo (2016). Between 2012 and 2015 he was Head of Programmes at the Serpentine Galleries in London. Prior, he was a curator at the Instituto Inhotim, Minas Gerais, since 2004, where he has served as General Director between 2005 and 2007 and Artistic Director between 2007 and 2012. Furthermore, he has contributed to many exhibitions throughout the world, including Terra Comunal – Marina Abramović in sesc Pompeia, São Paulo (2015), Planos de fuga, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, São Paulo (2012), Olafur Eliasson – Your Body of Work as part of the 17th International Festival of Contemporary Art – sesc Videobrasil in the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, in sesc Pompeia and sesc Belenzinho, São Paulo (2011), The Spiral and the Square at Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm, at Gråmølna Kunstmuseum, Trondheim, and at Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, Kristiansand (2011), the 1st Aichi Triennale in Nagoya (2010) and the presentation of Cinthia Marcelle at the Biennale de Lyon (2007). In 2009, he organized Fare Mondi / Making Worlds, the international section of the 53rd International Venice Biennale together with Daniel Birnbaum. In 2006, he guest-curated for the 27th São Paulo Biennial a special exhibition project in homage to Marcel Broodthaers with Juan Araujo, Mabe Bethônico, Marcel Broodthaers, Marilá Dardot, Tacita Dean, Meschac Gaba, Goshka Macuga, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Haegue Yang. Between 2001 and 2004, he was curator of Portikus Frankfurt am Main, where he organized individual exhibitions with Cildo Meireles, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Gilbert & George, Janet Cardiff, Jason Rhoades, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Philippe Parreno, Renée Green, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Rivane Neuenschwander and Simon Starling, amongst others. As a critic, he is writing for magazines, catalogues, and is contributing editor to Frieze.

Eva-Maria Troelenberg studied art history, history and communications at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and Venice International University. 2007: Research Assistant / Doctoral Candidate at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz. 2007-2009: Postgraduate Fellow of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. 2010: Completed dissertation on the Munich "Exhibition of Masterpieces of Muhammadan Art" (LMU Munich). 2010-2011: Postdoc Fellow of the KHI project "Connecting Art Histories in the Museum. The Mediterranean and Asia 400-1650" (in cooperation with the State Museums in Berlin / Museum of Islamic Art). Since September 2011: Head of the Max Planck Research Group "Objects in the Contact Zone: The cross-cultural Life of Things" at Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz. Teaching assignments at LMU Munich, University of Vienna and at the Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context", University of Heidelberg. Visiting professorships at University of Munich (2013, History of Islamic Arts) and Zürich University (2016/17, Modern and Contemporary Art History). 2017: Visiting Scholar at Global Asian Series (GLASS), Leiden University. Since March 2018 Chair for modern and contemporary art history, Utrecht University.

Carla Zaccagnini was born in 1973 in Buenos Aires. In 1981 her family relocated to Brazil. She lives and works between São Paulo, Malmö and Copenhagen. Zaccagnini received her BFA in 1995 from the Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado in São Paulo. She studied with artist Nelson Leirner, who encouraged her exploration of theoretical questions through artistic practice. Zaccagnini also received an MA in Visual Poetics from the Universidade de São Paulo in 2004. Zaccagnini views her activities as an artist, curator, and critic as mutually constitutive forms of inquiry that overlap to form a conceptually driven holistic art practice. She works with a variety of media and techniques—from drawing, installation, performance, text, and video, to exhibition curating—in order to explore what she characterizes as a strategy of displacement. By recontextualizing existing objects, and ideas, Zaccagnini’s work prompts viewers to question the limitations of language and representation, the fallibility of perception, and the construction of knowledge.

Agustin Pérez Rubio was born in Valencia, Spain in 1972. He has a degree in art history from the Universidad de Valencia and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Università di Torino. He has curated over one hundred and fifty exhibitions at important museums and art centers, biennales, etc. mainly in Europe and Latin America. Before he was Chief Curator and Director of MUSAC  2003- 2013, he organized monographic exhibitions of major artists like Pierre Huyghe, Julie Mehretu, Dora García, Pipiloti Rist, SANAA, Elmgreen and  Dragset, Harun Farocki, and Lara Almarcegui among others. He also we the responsible for the contemporary MUSAC Collection with more than 1.600 artwork. Later, as an independent curator, he curated projects that include solo shows by artists such as Superflex, Sophie Calle, Rosangela Rennó, Carlos Garaicoa, and many group shows thematically related to gender, linguistics, architecture, and politics. He was the Artistic Director of MALBA, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires from May 2014 to June 2018, where he developed a socio-political programme dedicated to gender and feminist issues. In addition, Pérez Rubio worked together with Andrea Giunta, on the curatorial script of MALBA’s collection titled VERBOAMERICA a postcolonial revision of the Collection. Recently, he has curated solo shows of artists such as Jorge Macchi, Yoko Ono, Carlos Motta, Alexander Apóstol and the retrospective show of the collective General Idea. He is currently a member of the board of CIMAM (2017-2019) and Istambul Biennale. Recently he has been appointed as the curator for the Chilean Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2019 where he will present the work of Voluspa Jarpa.

Naine Terena (Terena/Aruak) has a Ph.D. in Education by PUC/SP, and a Master in Arts from the Unb/DF. She was a Pos-Doc fellow in Education at UFMT and PPGE/Unemat. She works as a publicist, and teaches at the Catholic University of Mato Grosso. Her company, Oráculo Comunicação, develops educational and cultural activities together with indigenous and social movements. She has an outstanding profile in social media, actively promoting indigenous rights and events. Her current research focuses on Technologies of communication and social movements (especially indigenous), arts, the body and narratives.

Helouise Costa is Associate Professor and Curator at the Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo, where she works since 1993. She advises thesis and dissertations at the Programa de Pós-Graduação Interunidades em Estética e História da Arte and the Programa de Pós-Graduação Interunidades em Museologia, at Universidade de São Paulo. Among her books are, “A fotografia moderna no Brasil” (São Paulo: CosacNaify, 2004) and “As origens do fotojornalismo no Brasil: um olhar sobre O Cruzeiro” (Rio de Janeiro: Instituto Moreira Salles, 2012). She curated, among others,  "MAM 70" (2018); "A arte degenerada de Lasar Segall: perseguição à arte moderna em tempos de guerra"(2017-2018); “Fronteiras incertas: arte e fotografia no acervo do MAC USP” (2013-2014); “Rafael França: entre mídias” (2014) and “As origens do fotojornalismo no Brasil: um olhar sobre O Cruzeiro” (2012-2014). Her research interests are modern photography and history of exhibitions.

Chika Okeke-Agulu is Professor of African and African Diaspora art at Princeton University. His books include Obiora Udechukwu: Line, Image, Text (Skira Editore, 2016); Postcolonial Modernism: Art and Decolonization in Twentieth-Century Nigeria (Duke, 2015); and (with Okwui Enwezor), Contemporary African Art Since 1980 (Damiani, 2010). He is co-editor of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, and maintains the blog Ọfọdunka.  Okeke-Agulu has (co-)organized several art exhibitions, including El Anatsui: Triumphant Scale (Haus der Kunst, Munich, 2019), Who Knows Tomorrow (Nationalgalerie, Berlin, 2010), 5th Gwangju Biennale (Gwangju, 2004), The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa, 1945-1994 (Museum Villa Stuck, Munich, 2001), Seven Stories About Modern Art in Africa (Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 1995), Nigerian section, First Johannesburg Biennale, 1995). As an art critic, his writings have appeared in The Guardian (Lagos), Daily Times (Lagos), Artforum International (New York), The New York Times, and The Huffington Post. Among his many awards and prizes are: Honorable Mention, The Arnold Rubin Outstanding Publication (triennial) Award (Arts Council of African Studies Association, 2017); The Melville J. Herskovits Prize for the most important scholarly work in African Studies published in English during the preceding year (African Studies Association, 2016); and Frank Jewett Mather Award for Distinction in Art Criticism (College Art Association, 2016).

Valeria Piccoli is Chief Curator at Pinacoteca de São Paulo. She holds a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of São Paulo on 19th and early 20th-century Brazilian art. Piccoli has collaborated on international projects such as Terra Brasilis (Brussels, 2011) and is co-curator of Picturing the Americas: Landscape Painting from Tierra del Fuego to the Arctic (Toronto/Bentonville/São Paulo, 2015-2016), together with Georgiana Uhlyarik and Peter John Brownlee. Her current research focuses on how museums’ displays of their collections can incorporate recent debates on post-colonialism, gender and race, among other contemporary issues.

Fernanda Pitta is Senior Curator at Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo and Lecturer in the History of Art at the Escola da Cidade, in São Paulo. She has a Ph.D. in art history from the Universidade de São Paulo. Her research interests focus primarily on 19th Century Brazilian Art in a transnational and comparative perspective, centered in a critical approach to the different paradigms of national art. She also writes regularly on modern and contemporary art. She contributes to scholarly journals on Brazilian art and art historiography. Her latest curatorial project focuses on the social construction of the artist’s image in 19th- and early 20th-century Brazilian art. She is currently an International Curators Fellow of the Association of Art Museums Curators International Foundation Engagement Program. In summer 2017, she was a fellow at Clark Art Institute as part of the Summer Collaborative Working Group, developing a comparative research on narrative models of national art across the Americas.