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Kingston University
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Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 9000

Aesthetics and Contemporary Art

Date:13 March 2008, 10:00am to
14 March 2008, 6:00pm
Location:Drawing Room, Mansion Building, Trent Park Campus, Middlesex University, London N14 4YZ

An International Interdisciplinary Conference

Organized by the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP), in collaboration with the Collaborative Research Centre ‘Aesthetic Experience and the Dissolution of Artistic Limits’ (CRC 626), Free University Berlin

Introduction

Torn between a revival of the discourse of aesthetics and the persistence of conceptualism, critical writing about contemporary art has once again come to focus on differing views of its aesthetic dimension. The context and character of these debates has, however, shifted markedly from the 1960s, with changes in art practices, institutions, political contexts, and theoretical paradigms – and in particular, with the global extension of the Western artworld since 1989. This conference will reconsider the place of the aesthetic in contemporary art, in the broadest of ways, with reference to the topics of four plenary panels:

  • Sensate Thinking: Aesthetics, Art, Ontology
  • The Dissolution of Artistic Limits: Objects, Events, Ideas
  • Aesthetics of Post-Autonomy: Institution, Collaboration, Participation
  • Exhibition-Value: Aesthetics of Curation in a Global Artworld

Keynotes

Luis Camnitzer, artist and writer; Professor Emeritus of Art, State University of New York, Old Westbury; author of Conceptualism in Latin American Art University of Texas Press, 2007.

Art & Language (Michael Baldwin, Mel Ramsden and Charles Harrison), group of artists and writers, since 1968; see, for example, Art & Language in Practice, Vol.1. Illustrated Handbook, Fundació Antoni Tàpies, 1999.

Plenary Panel Speakers

International

Dr Sebastian Egenhofer – Laurenz (Assistant) Professor of Contemporary Art, University of Basel

Brian Holmes – writer and art critic (Paris); author of Hieroglyphs of the Future: Art and Politics in a Networked Era, Zagreb, 2002

Dr Pamela Lee – Associate Professor, Department of Art and Art History, Stanford University; author of Object to be Destroyed: The Work of Gordon Matta-Clark, MIT Press, 2000 and Chronophobia: On Time in the Art of the 1960s, MIT Press, 2004

Dr Charles Merewether – Director of the Cultural District, Saadiyat Island for the Tourist Development & Investment Co. in Abu Dhabi. He was recently Arts and Culture Consultant for the Emirates Foundation in the UAE. Between 2004-2007 he was Artistic Director & Curator of the 2006 Biennale of Sydney and Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Cross Cultural Research, Australian National University. His most recent book publications include Under Construction: Ai Weiwei (2008), Art, Anti-Art, Non-Art: Experimentations in the Public Sphere in Postwar Japan 1950-1970, (Los Angeles: The Getty Center, Los Angeles, 2007); General and Commissioning Editor, Zones of Contact (Biennale of Sydney 2006) and Editor, The Archive (Mass: M.I.T Press & London: Whitechapel Gallery, 2006). He is currently writing a book on the cultural history of looting, and another on postwar photography in Japan.

CRC 626, Free University Berlin

Dr Susanne Leeb – Research Associate Project A7, Sub-project: Cartographic Models in Contemporary Art

Prof. Christoph Menke – Head of Project C1 / Institute for Philosophy, University of Potsdam; author of The Sovereignty of Art: Aesthetic Negativity in Adorno and Derrida, MIT Press, 1998.

Dr Juliane Rebentisch – Research Associate C1, Sub-project: Democracy and Theatre / Institute for Philosophy, University of Potsdam; author of Aesthetik der Installation, Suhrkamp, 2003

Dr Dorothea Von Hantelmann – Research Associate Project A7, Sub-project: Exemplary Experiences: Relations Between Work and Situation in Contemporary Art

CRMEP, London

Prof. Eric Alliez –Project: Undoing the Image

Prof. Peter Osborne –Director, CRMEP; Project: Art Against Aesthetics

CRMEP/CRC 626 liaison

Dr Armen Avanessian, Postdoctoral Fellow, CRC 626

Luke Skrebowski, PhD candidate, CRMEP

Programme for day 1

9.30-10.30 Registration and Coffee

10.30-10.45 Introduction: Peter Osborne, CRMEP

10.45-12.30 Sensate Thinking: Aesthetics, Art, Ontology
Chair: Luke Skrebowski, CRMEP
Christoph Menke – Sfb/Institute for Philosophy, University of Potsdam
'Not Yet - The Philosophical Significance of Aesthetics'
Eric Alliez – CRMEP ‘Undoing the Image'

12.30-13.45 Lunch

13.45-16.00 The Dissolution of Artistic Limits: Objects, Events, Ideas
Chair: Armen Avenessian, Sfb
Juliane Rebentisch – Sfb/Institute for Philosophy, University of Potsdam ‘Aesthetic Autonomy and Contemporary Art’
Sebastian Egenhofer – University of Basel
'Aesthetic Materiality in Conceptualism’
Peter Osborne – CRMEP ‘The Fiction of the Contemporary’

16.00-16.30 Coffee

16.30-17.45 Keynote lecture 1
Chair: Peter Osborne, CRMEP
Art & Language – artists and writers
'Feeling Good: The Aesthetics of Corporate Culture'

18.00-19.00 Drinks reception

Programme for day 2

9.30-10.00 Coffee

10.00–11.15 Keynote lecture 2
Chair: Peter Osborne, CRMEP
Luis Camnitzer – artist and writer
‘The Two Versions of Santa Anna's Leg and Other Things’

11.15-13.30 Aesthetics of Post-Autonomy: Institution, Collaboration, Participation
Chair: Armen Avenessian, Sfb
Susanne Leeb – Sfb
'Human Rights as “Compass” for Art'
Stewart Martin – CRMEP
‘The Subsumption of Art by Capital’
Brian Holmes – writer and critic
‘Rules of the Game: The Artistic Device & the Articulation of Public Speech’

13.30-14.30 Lunch

14.30-16.45 Exhibition-Value: Aesthetics of Curation in a Global Artworld
Chair: Luke Skrebowski, CRMEP
Dorethea Von Hantelmann – Sfb
'The Rise of Exhibitions and the Exhibition as Art’
Charles Merewether – curator
'A Work in Progress'
Pamela Lee – Stanford University
‘The Invisible hand of Curation’

16.45–17.15 Closing discussion
Chair: Peter Osborne, CRMEP

Abstracts

More information

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