Points of Connection in Vienna

Points of Connection in Vienna

L’Internationale Conference

September 27, 2010

Points of Connection
The Vienna L’Internationale* Conference

27-29 October 2010

The Bruno Kreisky Forum for
International Dialogue

Armbrustergasse 15
A-1190 Vienna, Austria


The conference and research seminar, Points of Connection, is the first in a series of projects at L’Internationale, a new transinstitutional organization of five major European museums and artists archives. The intention of this organization is a long-term collaboration based on collective use of the institutions’ respective collections and archives. One of the goals is to challenge common canons and master narratives of art and investigate local-to-local comparisons and differences. In place of the global hegemonic ambitions of the largest contemporary art institutions, L’Internationale proposes collaboration between museums, each with its specific collection focus and history, as a way to instigate transnational, plural cultural narratives. One aim is to give greater visibility to the similarities between different collections and archives as the point of connection at which their interests, methodologies, and visions come together. L’Internationale aims to build a new, plural narrative and to keep the processes that build it transparent. The first conference will give equal attention to the object of research (avant-garde art from 1956 to 1986) and to the methods of research and the sources used.

Speakers include: Alexander Alberro, Graciela Carnevale, Eda Čufer, Ješa Denegri, Kodwo Eshun, Angela Ferreira, Cristina Freire, Boris Groys, Vít Havránek, Ernesto Laclau, Viktor Misiano, Piotr Piotrowski, Branka Stipančić, Immanuel Wallerstein and others

The conference will be organized around two major thematic blocks:

1. Avant-Gardes from the Decline of Modernism to the Rise of Globalization. 1956–1986

1.1. Contextualizing Post-War Avant-Gardes

Like the first part of the L’Internationale projects, the conference focuses on the period between 1956 and 1986. This was a period in which authoritarian regimes of different kinds predominated in a substantial part of the world, but which was also characterized by the post-war belief in a new modern era—shared in the societies of the social-democratic or liberal West, the decolonizing South, the socialist East, and the so-called block-free states of the Non-Aligned Movement—where advanced technologies played an increasingly prominent role, the world was better connected through new ways of transport and new communication systems, and the media had increasing power. It was the time of the Cold War, of Fordism, state socialism, and decolonization; of politically and economically separated yet homogenizing scapes and spaces, and at the same time of increasing processes of globalization.

1.2. Re-writing the Canons: Avant-Garde Art Practices Between 1956 and 1986

For this section L’Internationale is inviting experts involved in post-war avant-garde art practices, who represent two fields of expertise, one that discusses the construction of new narratives and the other that relates lived experiences. By posing the same questions to experts from Eastern Europe, Latin America, Western Europe, and North America, the conference intends to serve as a tool of comparison for questions like: Is it common ground for all the practices that appeared under different names in different parts of the world to define the post-war avant-garde as a reaction to the corrosion and break within Modernism? How did this break occur in different cultural and political contexts, and what were the key cases and the key issues?

2. Transnational Zones for Museums and Archives

L’Internationale can serve as a model for new ways of collaboration and common methodologies in the museum world. The second part of the conference will therefore discuss the ways in which the art system and its alternative models operated in the period under scrutiny, as well as the new possible ways of institutional and international collaboration today.

* The founding partners of L’Internationale are the Moderna galerija, Ljubljana; the Július Koller Society (SJK), Bratislava; the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Barcelona; the Van Abbemuseum (VAM), Eindhoven; and the Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst (M HKA), Antwerp.

Contact: mertens@sjk.sk
Online Registration at: internacionala.mg-lj.si

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