Conf/CfP - Reconsidering the Postmodern in Italian Art and Performance, Center for Italian Modern Art (CIMA) New York, USA

Publish Date: Oct 07, 2016

Deadline: Oct 17, 2016

A Study Day at the Center for Italian Modern Art (CIMA) New York, NY
February 14, 2017

The theoretical framework for postmodernism was firmly established in the Anglo-American art world and art history academy in the 1980s, concurrent with a new paradigm shift that displaced the teleological model of formalism. Yet the history of Italian art during the twentieth century bedevils the prefix “post”: strategies of irony, pastiche, appropriation, the simulacrum, the mis-en-abyme, temporal circularity and the performative, for example, appear in the work of de Chirico from 1915 until his death in 1978. De Chirico was highly influential on artists whose careers came to maturity in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, especially in Italy (not to mention Warhol’s well-known admiration for the Italian “master”). Yet, one might question to what degree the term postmodernism is even applicable in the Italian case. Or conversely, how do strategies of circularity, repetition, doubling and (art) historical citation in late twentieth century Italian art offer new opportunities to reassess postmodernism in the visual arts on the whole?

Interrogating definitions of the post modern and of Italian art since 1965, this conference aims to refocus studies before and beyond Arte Povera and even question its applicability to two notable members of the group, Giulio Paolini and Jannis Kounellis. We encourage papers devoted to figures such as Gino De Dominicis, Vettor Pisani, Carol Rama, Fabio Mauri, and Luigi Ontani, and those which will reconsider the so-called Transavanguardia – mainly by breaking the conceptual stronghold of such labels. To what degree does Italian performance art conform to or differ from other international practices? How did Italian critics and philosophers such as Renato Barilli, Eugenio Battisti, Gillo Dorfles, Umberto Eco and Gianni Vattimo theorize late or post-modernism in ways different from the French post-structuralists, whose texts have dominated Anglo-American critical theory in recent decades? Dorfles and Eco, for example, were among the few critics to write on kitsch in the 1960s, challenging Clement Greenberg’s polarizing and influential take on the subject.

How do Italian artists reconceive gender and corporeal boundaries and the gaze in self-portraiture (notably de Chirico, Carol Rama, Clemente, De Dominicis, Ontani) in ways that prefigure or parallel feminist practices elsewhere? How have Italian photographers participated and embraced conceptual practices that entail appropriation, doubling, and performance (notably Ugo Mulas, Luigi Ghirri, Franco Vaccari, Mario Cresci, Mimmo Jodice)? We welcome papers across mediums and disciplines, including architecture, film, photography, and the decorative arts.

This conference, the second held by the Center for Italian Modern Art and co-presented by the Italian Art Society, will take place in New York in to coincide with the 105th meeting of the College Art Association. It has been organized on the occasion of CIMA’s exhibition Giorgio de Chirico / Giulio Paolini, Giulio Paolini / Giorgio de Chirico.

Please send 300-word abstracts along with a CV to
Deadline: Monday October 17, 2016.
Selected applicants will be notified by Friday, November 18, 2016.

For more information click "Further official information" below.

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United States

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Call for Papers