11 December │GLASS Roundtable │ Art in Exile

Please join us for a GLASS panel discussion on how art produced, displayed and encountered, constitutes different modes of global knowledge and experience. Panelists include the GLASS scholar, Clare Harris, along with Wayne Modest, Peter Pels and Anna Grasskamp. All are welcome.

Date & Time
11 December 2014

Gravensteen, Room 11
Pieterskerkhof 6
2311 SR Leiden

Art in Exile: global modalities of art production, display and appropriation

What different kinds of work does art do in a global context? Specifically focusing on art in ‘exile’ or diaspora, we wish to discuss and debate how art - produced, displayed and encountered - constitutes different modes of global knowledge and experience.

For the artist in exile, artworks can produce a powerful expression of a complex suite of anxieties, desires, affective states and political statements that encompass experiences of exile, belonging, liminality, and fragmentation. In the museum context, assemblages of objects and artworks that are the result of longstanding European collecting practices in distant places do a very different kind of work in their host country. Here, we wish to problematize more explicitly the notion of the ‘exotic’. Like the fetish and the rarity, the exotic is art “in exile” from its previous familiar surroundings. In what ways does the act of bringing something inside museum walls set in motion a series of metamorphoses? More concretely, one could ask: what does Asian (or African or American) art mean in the context of the Europe, both within institutional/public culture and popular/private culture? What, if any, is the relationship between the display of ‘Asian Art’ in national museums and the popular trend of displaying Buddhas in Dutch homes? We are interested in examining the kinds of experiences and expectations that inhabit or enshroud Asian or other art practice in these different contexts of exile.

Scholars invited to this roundtable will address these various modalities of art-in-exile in order to foster critical reflection on the histories and conditions of possibility that have brought about the exiled or diasporic status of various artworks and collections. We will consider what these art practices reveal about historical and contemporary relationships between Europe and other states and regions, and the specific capacity of art to mediate, consolidate, transgress and transform them.

Topics and participants

Prof.dr. Anne Gerritsen (Leiden, LIAS)

Prof. Clare Harris (Oxford, Anthropology) - exile and belonging in global art worlds

Prof. Peter Pels (Leiden, Anthropology) - collecting and enclosing the ‘exotic’

Dr. Wayne Modest (NMWV, Director of the Research Center for Material Culture)- popular appropriations of non-European art

Dr. Anna Grasskamp (Heidelberg, Art History)- crossroads – framing ‘Asian art’ in Europe

Last Modified: 01-12-2014