Conference 2016

GLOBAL ART CHALLENGES: Towards an “Ecology of Knowledges”

CFP: International Conference
April 28-29, 2016, Barcelona, Spain

Direction: Anna Maria Guasch (UB)
Co-direction: Paula Barreiro López (UB) and Nasheli Jiménez del Val (UNAM, Mexico)
In collaboration with: Christian Alonso (UB)

Organized by: Under the Grupo Consolidado Agència d´Ajuts Universitaris de la Generalitat de Catalunya (2014 SGR1050) and the research project Critical Cartography of Art and Visuality in the Global Age: New Methodologies, Concepts, and Analytic Scopes, Part II (HAR2013 43122P) of the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (MINECO, Madrid).

GAC cfp engThe International Conference Global Art Challenges: Towards an “Ecology of Knowledges” aims to reformulate established approaches to the study of global art in the face of ongoing challenges in that field. Building on sociologist Boaventura de Sousa Santo’s concept of an “ecology of knowledges” (2007), the conference seeks to go beyond “abyssal thinking in modern Western-based conceptions” of art and to trace lines of inquiry into new epistemological approaches to global art studies. As theorized by de Sousa Santos, ecological thinking, understood as a counter-epistemology, recognizes the plurality of heterogeneous knowledge(s) and highlights the dynamic interconnections that exist between them[1]. Hence, faced with a longstanding monocultural conception of knowledge and art an “ecology of knowledges” conceives of knowledge-as-intervention-in-reality rather than a hierarchical preference of Western knowledge(s) over other forms of knowing.

This conference seeks to discuss, from a methodological, epistemological and practical perspective, the possibilities of developing an “ecology of knowledges” in art history, regarding also artistic and institutional practices. It looks for ways to overcome Western hierarchies and enter into a proactive dialogue between practices, methods and discourses. Such perspectives, we hope, will contribute to questioning taxonomies, values, temporalities, and dichotomies that have not just been a part of the art historic discipline since its foundation, but that have been imposed as universal and taken-for-granted. Finally, the conference seeks to become a platform for debating the possibilities of breaking that (Western-dominated) view within art history, seeking a starting point for a change of paradigm in the understanding of global art.

[1] Sousa Santos, Boaventura de, “Beyond abyssal thinking. From global lines to ecology of knowledges”, Eurozine, 2007, p. 66 (available online)

Scientific Committee

Monica Juneja (Universität Heidelberg, Germany)
Klara Kemp-Welch (The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, UK)
Béatrice Joyeux-Prunel (École Normale Supérieur, Paris, FR)
Maria Hlavajova (Basis Voor Akuele Kunst, Utrecht, NL)
Anna Maria Guasch (Universitat de Barcelona, SP)
Paula Barreiro López (Universitat de Barcelona, SP)
Nasheli Jiménez del Val (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, MX)

Collaborating entities:

Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)
Facultad de Geografía e Historia. Universidad de Barcelona
Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, UNAM.

With the collaboration and support of:

Proyecto I+D: Modernidad(es) Descentralizada(s): Arte, política y contracultura en el eje transatlántico durante la Guerra Fría (HAR2014-53834-P). Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (MINECO, Madrid).


MACBA, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona / Auditorium
Plaça dels Angels, 1 / 08001 Barcelona


UB, Universitat de Barcelona / Aula Magna
Montalegre, 6 / 4th Piso / 08001 Barcelona

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