December 1, 2016, Barcelona, SP
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The annual symposium Visual Cultures/Global Designs is one of the semi-permanent platforms of the gvc‘ Intermittent University. Developed as a joint venture with the Arts Santa Mònica Center and the Department of Art History (University of Barcelona), this symposium was launched in 2007 with the idea of discussing visuality, present-day globality and intercultural negotiations in the framework of what the Nigerian curator Okwui Enwezor has described as the new ‘post-colonial constellation’ of contemporary art. This symposium encourages new extra-disciplinary approaches to visuality, with a specific interest in the analysis of fields of expertise such as Transnational Studies, Global Studies, Gender Studies, Postcolonial Studies, Cultural Anthropology, among others.


Beyond the disciplinary frictions between Art History and what is known as Visual Studies, this symposium seeks to stimulate reflection on the epistemological limitations inherent in the study of visuality on a global scale. Taking as its starting point the political agency of the new global multitudes, this symposium questions diverse axioms put forward by theories of liberal multiculturalism and ideological pluralism and examines the interplay between global visualities and concepts such as identity politics, transnationalism, post-nationalism, globality, glocality, and etcetera. VC/GD has been conceived as a platform for debating the usefulness of visual studies as a tool with which to question the postcolonial paradigm and the affirmative institutionalization of cultural globalization.

Keynote Speakers

Each year, the symposium invites a keynote speaker to share his or her latest research, book, or exhibition. Keynote speakers at VC/GD include Angela Dimitrakaki, Encarnación Gutiérrez-Rodríguez, James Elkins, José Luis Brea, Matthew Rampley, Marquard Smith, and Mieke Bal. At the same time, this symposium operates as a Training Seminar for the enrolled students in the PhD program on History, Theory and Art Critique as well as in the MPhil program on Advanced Studies on Contemporary Art, both offered by the University of Barcelona.


Joaquín Barriendos Rodríguez
Anna María Guasch

Topics of the last Symposiums

2012: Knowledge Politics: Collective Artistic Research
2011: Rewriting Art History? Difference and Globalization
2010: Visual Dilemmas and (Inter) Cultural Translation
2009: Art, Science, Criticism and Global Studies
2008: Visual Epistemologies and Interculturality
2007: Transcultural Visuality and Postcolonial Critique

With the support of:
Arts Santa Mònica
Ministerio de Ciencia y Educación / HAR2010-17403 / 2011-2013
University of Barcelona, Departament de Historia de l’Art