Raqs Media Collective, Escapement, 2009 (Detail). 27 clocks, high glass aluminium with LED lights, four flat screen monitors, video and audio looped. Dimensions variable.

In the Wake of the
“Global Turn”: Propositions
for an "Exploded"
Art History without Borders

November 4 – 5, 2011

The 2011 Clark Conference, In the Wake of the Global Turn: Propositions for an "Exploded" Art History without Borders, convened by Jill Casid and Aruna D’Souza, asked what a shift towards a broader geographical expanse in art historical inquiry has meant--and could mean--for the discipline.

How might an emphasis on interregional collaboration take the place of an emphasis on monolithic concepts such as the nation-state or “the global”? How might a radically de-centered art history differ from one re-centered around a different origin (Africa vs. Europe, for example)? How must a “global art history” address not simply the geographical range, but an entire reconception of art history’s objects, methods, and goals?

Participants included:
Jill Casid, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Aruna D’Souza, Research and Academic Program, The Clark; TJ Demos, University College London; Talinn Grigor, Brandeis University; Ranjana Khanna, Duke University; Kobena Mercer, Yale University; Nicholas Mirzoeff, NYU Steinhardt; Todd Porterfield, Université de Montréal; Raqs Media Collective: Monica Narula, Jeebesh Bagchi, Shuddhabrata Sengupta, Delhi, India; Kishwar Rizvi, Yale University; David Roxburgh, Harvard University; Alessandra Russo, Columbia University; Renata Camargo Sá, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil; Kerstin Schankweiler, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany; Isabel Seliger, Independent Scholar, Berlin, Germany

Click here to view a video of the conference proceedings.

In order of discussion

Theoretical Terrains
Moderator:  Parul Dave Mukherji

What are the tools for a not just de-centered but also re-oriented art history? What are the practices, for example, that would replace expansion and unification with ways of thinking in terms of irreconcilable disunity, dissonance, and differentiation? What are the theories and methods that would allow scholars to reckon profoundly with radical difference, unevenness, the unassimilable, and the untranslatable?

The Research Exhibition: Object and Model for a Global Art History
TJ Demos

For a Hermeneutics of the Impure – Art and Truth in an Age of Contamination
Renata Camargo Sá

Contraflow: Mapping Networks in Cross-Cultural Modernity
Kobena Mercer

Histories and Times: Temporalities of and against the “Global”
Moderator : James Elkins

If scholars think about their practice in the “wake” of the global turn and of the cultural effects of globalization, how does that affect the “timeliness” of their practice? What are the implications of the deeply fractured global for the “history” in art history? If scholars continue to think with the imperative to historicize, how do they negotiate sometimes deeply conflicting conceptions of “time” and “history”?

Crosscultural, Interpictorial, and Transgender: The Convergence of Male Icons in the Gandharan Visual
Isabel Seliger

Writing Art History Transculturally: A Postcolonial Reading of George Kubler’s,
“The Shape of Time”

Kerstin Schankweiler

An Ephemeris, Corrected for the Longitudes of Tomorrow: Speculations on Orbits and Motions, Objects and Processes in Contemporary Art
Raqs Media Collective (Monica Narula, Jeebesh Bagchi, and Shuddhabrata Sengupta)

New Practices of and beyond the Global: Regionalisms, Localisms, Contacts, and Flows
Moderator: Steven Nelson

If the “global” in global art history is not shorthand for imperial ambition and a new universal, then what breaks up and/or replaces the monolithic, expansionist version of the “global”? If scholars do not all become “professors” of the “global” and yet also challenge the political presumptions of national schools of art, are they still advocating specialization and, if so, what practices would these be? Is the “exploded” global a new regionalism or a new localism in practice?

Transnational Islam, or the Reification of History through Contemporary Architecture
Kishwar Rizvi

De tlacuilolli: Renaissance Artistic Theory in the Wake of the Global Turn
Alessandra Russo

Neither Orient, nor Rome: Art History’s Global Turn in 1901
Talinn Grigor

Troubles with Perspective: Case Studies in Picture-Making from Qajar Iran in the 1800s
David Roxburgh

Positionalities: Interrogating Locations amidst the “Global”
Moderator: Sven Spieker

How do scholars account for and practice their (individual and collective) “positions” within and against the “global” and “globalization”? What might be the political and ethical ways of conceiving the global or counter-global? How considerations of the forms of life inflect art historical accounts in the wake of the global turn? How do their scholarly practices participate in making manifest or “worlding” a notion of “the global”?

Transversal Positioning Practices
Todd Porterfield

Inside Out: The History of the Anonymous in the Crisis of Visuality
Nicholas Mirzoeff

Technologies of Un-Belonging
Ranjana Khanna

Conference Roundtable
Moderators: Jill Casid and Aruna D’Souza