This conference will address the ways that resistance to globalization has affected contemporary art. Beginning in the 1990s, many global biennials favored a postcolonial and multicultural aesthetic, rooted in diasporic experience, emphasizing inclusion, diversity, and hybridity. Since then, rising inequality, religious and ethnic conflicts, drug wars, mass migration, and a revival of populism and nationalism have revealed the limitations of globalization. Within the art world, the postcolonial model has increasingly been called into question. Many critics, artists, and activists have signaled a desire to break with the ongoing legacies of colonial ways of seeing and knowing. These participants in the art world, many of them indigenous, see neoliberal models of progress and development as profoundly destructive, and are challenging neoliberal, statist agendas in both the Global North and the Global South. By engaging such responses, this conference will explore how contemporary art mediates larger geopolitical forces, even as it is also determined by them.
David Joselit, CUNY
Saloni Mathur, UCLA
Naeem Mohaiemen, Artist
Jennifer Ponce de León, University of Pennsylvania
Jolene Rickard, Cornell University
Ugochukwu-Smooth Nzewi, Cleveland Museum of Art
Xiaoyu Weng, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Followed by a reception.