Elissa Auther, Visiting Associate Professor and Windgate Research and Collections Curator, Museum of Arts and Design, Bard Graduate Center.Textile Narratives: Andean Hand Weaving and the Rise of Modern Fiber ArtArtists central to the fiber art movement in the U.S. in the 1960s and 70s, including Sheila Hicks, Ed Rossbach, Ruth Asawa, Lenore Tawney, and Alice Kagawa Parrott, to name a few, shared an abiding interest in Andean weaving and other indigenous textile traditions of the ancient Americas. This paper addresses the origins of the awareness of these traditions and its meanings for artists working in the aesthetically maligned medium of fiber in the post-war period.
Until 6:15 pm | 02/09/2018
Amateurism Across the Arts is an exploration of vernacular, popular, fannish, kitsch, informal, self-taught, user-generated, and DIY production in music, architecture, literature, the visual arts, dance, and new media– especially in relation to raced, classed, and gendered notions of value. How do the implicitly skilled “arts” rupture and reorganize themselves around hierarchies of taste? And how can critical race and feminist/queer scholarship account for “hobbyist” — that is, extra-institutional, self-organized, or improvised — modes of cultural production and circulation? If amateurism has been traditionally disavowed in modernist and avant-garde historiographies, it is at the same time persistently—even obsessively—invoked, and is hence inextricably woven into those discourses.
The symposium asks how the “high” and the “low” are porous constructions by looking at the ways that these charged terms have been deployed and dismantled across several artistic disciplines, particularly as we examine the alternative economies and systems of distribution that attend such forms of making. While it has become commonplace for “fine” artists to recruit untrained participants into their practices, it is vital to acknowledge that many non-professional forms of making grow out of necessity and survival. In addition, though “amateur” is frequently used as a shorthand for the unpracticed and/or uninteresting, this conference seeks to understand its connections to its root word amare: a complex outgrowth of critical investment, pleasure, and love.
Organized by Julia Bryan-Wilson, Director, Arts Research Center
Until 7:00 pm | 03/13/2018
Byzantine private prayer scrolls are rare. Most date from the 13th or 14th centuries, and while several of them were written in gold ink only two of the preserved examples — neither of which has ever been published — contain any images. This paper presents one of the illustrated scrolls, now held in a private collection. It identifies the woman who owned it, considers the role of private prayer scrolls in the late Byzantine period, and examines the gender issues that this particular example raises.
Leslie Brubaker is Emerita Professor of Byzantine Art & Director of the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies at the University of Birmingham. A comprehensive biography is available here.
Co-sponsored by the Program in Medieval Studies and the History of Art Department.
A reception will follow.
Until 2:00 pm | 03/14/2018
Speaker: Robert J. Kett, Canadian Centre for Architecture and Curatorial Assistant of Architecture + Design, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
A Line in the Sand takes its title from the sense of precarity and urgency emerging from recent efforts to take unified global action on environmental issues. Epitomized by the mission to mitigate climate change outlined in the Paris Agreement, drawing a line in the sand marks a boundary, the recognition of a critical horizon that demands a collective response and solution. In the wake of the United States' decision to withdraw from this seemingly global imperative, what are the limitations of political action in the name of the environment? Do these strategies reduce Earth to a receptive surface for human action, and narrowly legislate what counts as positive engagement with the environment? Are there ways of visualizing our relationship to the planet — other ecologies — that go beyond conservation, sustainability, and "living green" to address humanity's inextricably deep political, social, and cultural entanglement with the environment? Across art, design, and visual culture, what new forms of action do such ecologies permit?
Until 5:00 pm | 05/05/2018
Nuclear disasters. Acid rain. The mass extinction of animal and plant species. The devastating environmental crisis that the planet faces today has fundamentally transformed the way we perceive human interaction with the natural environment. New forms of thinking such as postcolonial ecophilosophy, actor-network theory, new materialisms, evolutionary-developmental aesthetics, and posthumanism have challenged Enlightenment distinctions between natural and human history. Can art history, a discipline primarily engaged in the study of human creativity, also breach the natural/human history binary? What would such a history of art and architecture look like? Inescapably located in deep time, the ecological is omnidirectional and rhizomatic in its scalarity. Therefore, rather than focusing on specific sites or temporal periods, the conference seeks to explore the interconnected ecologies of planetary systems and art and architecture practices across a longue durée. It aims to bring forth the genealogies, methodologies, practices, and horizons of ecologically-oriented art, architecture, and visual histories.
Sponsors: University of California Humanities Research Institute; Institute of International Studies; Department of History of Art; Institute for South Asia Studies, University of California, Berkeley
Speakers: Lamia Balafrej (University of California, Los Angeles), Elisabeth de Bièvre (University of East Anglia), Whitney Davis (University of California, Berkeley), Natasha Eaton (University College London), Anthony Grudin (University of Vermont), Meredith Hoy (Arizona State University), Monica Juneja (Universität Heidelberg), Gregory Levine (University of California, Berkeley), Sugata Ray (University of California, Berkeley), Ivonne del Valle (University of California, Berkeley)
Organizers: Sugata Ray and Whitney Davis, Department of History of Art, University of California, Berkeley
Until 7:00 pm | 09/18/2018
This two-day, international conference is co-organized by Imogen Hart (History of Art Department, UC Berkeley) and David Peters Corbett (Courtauld Institute of Art, London). Keynote speakers: Tim Barringer (Yale University); Dorothy Price (University of Bristol); and Mary Roberts (University of Sydney). The event is co-sponsored by the Center for British Studies and the History of Art Department at the University of California, Berkeley. Deadline for proposals: April 15, 2018.
Until 7:00 pm | 02/14/2018
Speakers: Whitney Davis and Anneka Lenssen.
Until 8:00 pm | 02/13/2018
Ahmad Diab, Anneka Lenssen and Kathy Zarur
To celebrate the upcoming publication of the anthology Modern Art in the Arab World: Primary Documents (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2018), co-editor Anneka Lenssen (Assistant Professor, Global Modern Art, UC Berkeley) joins Ahmad Diab (Assistant Professor of Arabic Literature, UC Berkeley), and Kathy Zarur (curator and Lecturer in Visual Studies, CCA) in a conversation exploring the possibilities of translation as artistic research. The event will feature brief readings in English and Arabic of texts in the anthology and a discussion of related works of art. In turn, specific of acts of translation (whether between languages, or between text and image) will be examined in relation to problems of global canon, world literature, and the internationalism of socialist pathways of cultural exchange in the 1960s and 1970s–the latter engaged in its own, important translational projects. In light of recent efforts in the United States to revisit and revive Arab modernist and avant-garde histories by means of translation, how do we understand the hopes and challenges of this period? To what extent did artists themselves, located in complicated colonial and post-colonial conditions, already work by translation—between languages, materials, and worldview? And in what ways might such translations-as-research intervene upon contemporary cultural practice?
Until 6:00 pm | 02/13/2018
The Art History/Classics Library and the History of Art Visual Resources Center are hosting an event to bring together the many arts-related and visual scholarly resources and scholarly output from around the UC Berkeley campus and beyond. Please join us and learn more about these arts/visual collections at our Open House + Collections Showcase. It will be a book-fair style event with outreach materials and collection highlights from the many collections around campus, the California Digital Library, and the University of California Press.
Until 2:00 pm | 02/02/2018
Ivy Mills, Emma R. Silverman, Imogen Hart, Rebecca Levitan and Grace HarpsterMorning Papers10:00 – 10:40 Ivy Mills, "Maimouna Guerresi's Woman-Minaret."10:40 – 11:20 Emma R. Silverman, “Making a Modern Monument: Photography and the Watts Towers.”11:20 – 12:00 Imogen Hart, "Inside Out: Exhibiting Decorative Art Between the Wars."12:00 – 12:30 Break. Coffee and light refreshments will be served.Afternoon Papers12:30 – 1:10 Rebecca Levitan, "Pasquino the ‘Speaking Statue’: How a Hellenistic Sculpture Became the Voice of Early Modern Rome."1:10 – 1:50 Grace Harpster, “Figino’s True Effigy: Portraits of Carlo Borromeo as Saintly Testimony.”