Contemporary Art at the Nexus of Cultures

Thursday, 23 May 2024
3:00PM - 4:30PM (AEST)
Schaeffer Seminar Room, RC Mills Building and via Zoom
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A presentation on contemporary art's capacity to supplant Western art's illusion of universality.

Yto Barrada, Untitled (Belvedere no.2), 2001

My paper engages decolonial theory to explore the dynamic exchanges that materialize today at sites where the aesthetic ideals and values of disparate art frameworks meet. I acknowledge Western art’s epistemic dominance and proliferation but supplant its illusion of universality by recognizing a multiplicity of equally valid coexisting art formations with their own artistic narratives and practices. My thesis is that the sites of encounter between the Western and other art frameworks are where artists produce much of today’s most innovative and transformative art. 



Seminar participants are invited to read the following two texts (six pages) in advance of the seminar: 


Part of the Art History Seminar Series, convened by Mary Roberts and presented by the discipline of art history at the University of Sydney, with support from the Power Institute.

This seminar is also accessible via Zoom (click here to join).


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Alexander Alberro

Alexander Alberro, Virginia Bloedel Wright Professor of Art History at Barnard College / Columbia University, has published widely on modern and contemporary art and theory. He is the author of Abstraction in Reverse: The Reconfigured Spectator in Mid-Twentieth Century Latin American Art (2017) and Conceptual Art and the Politics of Publicity (2003). His Interstices: At Contemporary Art's Boundaries, which focuses on the negotiations at the margins between art frameworks, is forthcoming in 2025. Alberro has also edited many important anthologies, including Working Conditions: The Writings of Hans Haacke (2016); Museum Highlights: The Writings of Andrea Fraser (2005); Conceptual Art and the Politics of Publicity (2003); Recording Conceptual Art (2001); and Conceptual Art: A Critical Anthology (1999). 


A photograph of the entryway to an exhibition which is entitled "Swap Meet" by Brad Kahlhamer

Thu, 28 March 2024


Brad Kahlhamer: Always Elsewhere

Gerald McMaster