Conf/CfP - (Dis)Place: New Directions in the History of Art in Israel, May 17-18, 2017, Tel Aviv University

Publish Date: Oct 11, 2016

Deadline: Nov 01, 2016


Commonly addressed as a narrative that begins in 1906, with the establishment of the Bezalel School of art and crafts in Jerusalem, art history and the historiography of art in Israel are mostly treated from a vertical perspective, that is through a chronologic development in time and space, which creates rigid hierarchies and categorizations. The changes in art history stimulated by the spatial turn provide an opportunity for re-thinking art in Israel during the modern and contemporary period, while also gaining insights from post colonialism; feminist theory and the global turn, as well as the nascent field of Israel studies. This conference aims to revisit basic questions about locality, identity and belonging in relation to the hierarchies of different narratives and the canon of art in Israel, as well as to introduce new questions about space, time and alterity.

The conference aims to map critical strategies and discuss new frameworks for thinking of histories of art and political conditions in Israel while dismantling the borders of that field – imaginary and concrete, thus serving as a venue to contemplate identities of artists working in and outside the state of Israel in an age of globalization and trans-nationalism. Also, an intersectional approach that considers multiple and overlapping identity categories, such as religion and nationality, will serve to discuss Palestinian art in Israel.
Among the questions critical to the conference are: In what ways have migration and the plurality of cultures in Israel impacted artistic production? How can the developments of art's relation to nationalism in Israel be reconsidered in light of global art history? Has the canon of art in Israel undergone significant revision, and what are its dynamics of inclusion and exclusion?

The conference aims to carve out new understandings of prevailing narratives while destabilizing established notions of self, state, and belonging. Possible topics for presentations include, but are not limited to art in Israel and:

- Migration and transnationalism
- Ethnicity, class, sexuality, and other identity-related categories
- Peripheries, poly-centers, and power relations in the field
- Gender and feminist theories
- Local queer perspectives
- Materiality and localism
- Scopic regimes, bio-politics, surveillance and agency
- Palestinian art
- Neoliberalism and political structures
- Religion and art
- Collectivity/communality/activism and art
- Pre-statehood art
- Post colonialism
- Artistic movements or institutional agents in the local field
- Historiography of local art
- The international reception of Israeli art/artists.

Scholars in Israel and from around the world are invited to send a proposal of maximum 300 words, along with a short CV, including a list of publications (up to 3 pages). Please send your proposal to: the "Official website" by November 1, 2016. Notification of speakers will be by December 1, 2016.

Individual presentations will be 20 minutes in duration (a maximum of 2,200 words). Papers will be presented in English.

Conference organizers

Prof. Assaf Pinkus, The Department of Art History, Tel Aviv University (
Dr. Tal Dekel, The Department of Art History, Tel Aviv University (

To APPLY click "Further official information" below and fill the application form.

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