AC/CFP: « Avant-garde discourses in Spain and Latin America », Madrid, Museo Reina Sofía, 11-13 July 2013. Deadline: Feb 28, 2013.

This international conference brings together the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, CSIC, Saint Louis University and the Reina Sofía in order to investigate the artistic and intellectual dialogue between Spain and Latin America during the twentieth century. It forms part of the Reina Sofía’s mission to become a platform for the study and representation of Latin American art in Europe. The conference has been planned to coincide with the exhibition « La invención concreta: Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros »(23 Jan – 16 Sept). In this way the studies and debates here proposed will help to rethink dominant historiographies of modernism and modernity – a revisionist undertaking that has been promoted by the Reina Sofía through its exhibitions, public programs and publications.

A growing interest in the study of modern art from Latin America has helped to question the legacy of Modernism, and the way in which the formalist canon has legitimized boundaries between centre and periphery. The relationship between the avant-gardes and Modernism has been a complex history of competing narratives which continue to debate the political and aesthetic agendas of the avant-garde. Resisting absorption into the Modernist canon, championed by Greenberg’s notion of ‘self-criticism’, many avant-garde practices in Spain and Latin America were fueled by utopian desires to create a new society through the agency of art. Their experimentations gave rise to innovative and radical practices which have helped to revise dominant historiographies of modern art. Many of these works were the result of transatlantic encounters between artists, critics and curators working from these two geopolitical spheres.

Rather than looking at specific movements, this conference aims to explore the notion of the avant-garde as it relates to the experience of modernity, and the way in which a political and aesthetic vanguardia was shaped by post-war art and politics between 1920 and 1970. The specific nature of avant-garde and neo avant-garde practices, and the way which transnational dialogues helped to delineate artistic discourses in Spain and Latin America, will be the guiding reflections behind this event. Through keynote speakers and papers, the different sessions aim to present the most current research contributing in this way to a better understanding of Modernism from a transnational perspective.

We invite proposals that address the following:

• The way in which the concept of a national avant-garde in Latin America and Spain challenged the cosmopolitan nature of vanguardismo – thereby manifesting the complexities of avant-garde projects outside the main cosmopolitan centers of New York and Paris.

• The complex negotiation between history and modernity, originality and tradition.

• The way in which the utopian projects of the historical avant-gardes transformed and adapted to the socio-political problems of Spain and Latin America in the 50s, 60s and 70s.

• The artistic and intellectual exchange between Spain and Latin America during the first half of the twentieth century.

• The relationship between artists and critics in the articulation of an aesthetic and political avant-garde, and the mechanisms of representation and display that responded to these.

The papers will be divided between the following sessions. Please specify in your abstract to which of these your proposal responds.

Session 1: Encounters between Spain and Latin America

Session one explores new routes of exchange that bypass the Paris – New York axis, establishing in this way new cartographies and journeys that highlight exchanges between avant-garde movements that have not been sufficiently considered by current historiography.

Session 2: Museography, representation and curatorial narratives

Session two considers the significance of museography and exhibitions in the dissemination or institutionalization of avant-garde projects between 1920 and 1970, as well as current curatorial narratives and mechanisms of display that offer revisionist readings of this period.

Session 3: Genealogies, and avant-garde discourses

Parting from the study of artistic practices, session three analyzes the role of art criticism and theory in the construction of avant-garde discourses. It will seek to establish a genealogy of practices,vocabularies and concepts that reflect the particularities of avant-garde production in Spain and Latin America.

Session 4: Modernity and modernism(s): discrepancies and displacements

Session four debates the legacy of the modernist canon and formalism as discourses that have helped to legitimize the boundaries between centre and periphery. Considering concepts like ‘margins, periphery, alterity and divergence’ this session seeks to reveal the fissures of a complex geopolitical map.

Confirmed keynotes: Gabriel Pérez Barreiro and Andrea Giunta

Deadline 28th of February 2013.

Proposals must consist of a 500 word abstract and CV (two pages maximum). Please send to Paula Barreiro López

The official language of the conference will be Spanish but papers in English will be accepted.The results will be communicated on the 25th of March.

A limited amount of financial aid to cover the costs of travel and accomodation is available. If the proposal is accepted the participants may request this kind of aid, but must justify that no other sources of funding are available. The scientific committee will then decide how these funds will be allocated.

Conference Convenors:

Paula Barreiro López; Instituto de Historia, Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales, CSIC

Fabiola Martínez Rodríguez, Saint Louis University, Madrid

Jesús María Carrillo Castillo, Museo Reina Sofía

Gabriel Pérez Barreiro, Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros


Source: H-ArtHist, Feb 5, 2013.