AUP students by the Seine.


"Decolonizing the Avant-Garde" Conference

6 rue du Colonel Combes, 75007 Paris
Wednesday, June 12, 2024 - 13:00 to Thursday, June 13, 2024 - 18:00

Program and registration form below.

As the avant-garde often has been regarded as a typically Western phenomenon, it is perhaps to the West that we should turn first in an attempt to decolonize the post-1945 avant-garde. This first symposium of the three-year project Decolonizing the Avant-Garde explores the impact of colonization and colonialism within Europe's and Northern America's geographical borders on post-1945 practices of artists related to the avant-garde across races and ethnicities. The symposium also pays attention to activities in Australia and Japan, as these often are seen as forming part of the West.
Questions addressed include: How can we decolonize the post-1945 avant-garde within the West? What aspects of art and artists' trajectories and positionalities require special attention in this undertaking? What experimental artists or artists' formations in the West have been largely neglected and why? To what extent do creative decolonizing practices set forth by avant-garde artists from the West shed light on these issues? What, if any, alternative view(s) of 'the West' did the avant-garde give shape to and circulate? And when all is said and done, how do answers to these questions alter our understanding of 'the avant-garde'? Does it still make sense, for example, to talk about a 'Western' avant-garde, or is a different nomination called for?  

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Jennifer Biddle (University of New South Wales, Sydney)
  • Catherine Dossin (Purdue College of Liberal Arts)
  • Jonathan P. Eburne (Penn State University)
  • Hannah J. Feldman (Northwestern University)
  • Fabrice Flahutez (Université de Lyon-Saint-Etienne)
  • Jacopo Galimberti (Università Iuav di Venezia)
  • Tsitsi Jaji (Duke University)
  • Julia Leach (University of Manitoba, Winnipeg)
  • Dorotha Michalska (University of Oxford)
  • Olivier Penot-Lacassagne (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3)
  • Dorothy Price (Courtauld Institute of Art, London)
  • Effie Rentzou (Princeton University)

To consult the book of abstracts, click here.

Participation is free but registration before 10 June is mandatory.

This conference is organized by Sascha Bru (University of Leuven), Fabrice Flahutez (Université de Lyon-Saint-Etienne), Iveta Slavkova (American University of Paris) and Isabel Wünsche (Constructor University, Bremen).



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