#CTB14: Conference Abstracts

A ‘Cabaret of Curiosities’: The Landscape Aesthetics of “Mondo Utah” and the Mormon Panorama
Amanda Beardsley

More than just the aestheticization of natural phenomena, the panorama has functioned as both optical surrogate for nature, simulator, and generator of affect—an apparatus for teaching people how to survey and perceive the world while also situating them in it. Such characteristics of panoramic vision have carried over into current museological practices in an effort to unveil and reconcile socio-cultural landscapes, while also encouraging tourism. This was seen specifically in the 2013 Utah biennial, “Mondo Utah,” whose title referenced the controversial genre of Mondo cinema. The biennial attempted to decipher a visual language of contemporary art specific to the region. Pavilions surveyed objects ranging from the marginal (golden life-masks and mummiforms of the Summum group), to the aggregate (work from the collective holdings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).

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Undergraduate Panel: Abstracts and Bios

We are delighted to launch our 22nd annual conference with a panel presented and moderated by the undergraduates of the Art History Department.

The panel will be held on April 4 in the Lower Galleries of the Binghamton University Art Museum (1-2:15pm).

Here is more information about the presenters and their talks:

Biography:

Mikey Kosowski is a sophomore who is majoring in art history and Russian studies. Mikey sees art history as a way in which he can develop a deeper and older passion, British history and visual culture, and is now beginning to explore his interests in Eastern Europe. His current research interests range from the interiors of Victorian Anglo-Catholic churches to the modern restoration of synagogue murals in Poland.

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#CTB13: Abstracts

FRIDAY, APRIL 26


For abstracts from the Undergraduate Panel, click here.
For the full schedule, click here.

12:30 – 1:45   Performance & Performative Spaces

Moderator: Josh Franco

Persepolis 2530: Viewing the Modern Ruins at Persepolis

Maria Salva, Binghamton University
This paper will explore the place of Persepolis as a modern preserved ruin, itself created as an ancient site within the context of broad modernization, and its displacement in a contemporary art installation by British artist Michael Stevenson at the 2007 Basel Art Fair.

In order to get at some of the problems that Stevenson’s project suggests, I am looking at some of the recent writing on ruins and the idea of ruins in the context of modernity, especially two edited volumes on the topic, by Julia Hell and Brian Dillon, respectively. Ruins embody a set of paradoxes about time and power, that can have political implications. Ruins represent a society or power group that is gone, but by definition, the ruin survives, a presence to remind us of an absence. Ruins show the collapse of a past, but also point forward: like a vanitas image, ruins tell of the ephemerality of power, and suggest that current powers, too, will find themselves in ruination.

Under the Pahlavis in Iran, much of this paradox was overlooked as Persepolis was utilized as a performance space, suggesting a past glory whose revival was already manifest. Following Talinn Grigor, I interpret this unique situation as following from the process by which Persepolis was, itself, created in its modern form, and for its modern uses, by modern excavation, restoration, and building.

Stevenson’s project, Persepolis 2530, consists of an installation at the 2007 Basel Art Fair, and a book, “Celebration at Persepolis,” which documents the ruins of the tents built at Persepolis by the Pahlavis, and the installation of a replica of one of the tents at the Basel Art Fair, and recounts the 1971 celebration at Persepolis for which the tents were built. I will investigate what it means for these ruins to be replicated (and preserved) in photography, replicated and recontextualized in a contemporary arts setting, recreated as more fragile, more temporary, and in effect, more invisible than the original.
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#CTB13: Undergraduate Panel

Our annual graduate conference is proud to host an undergraduate panel, launching the 21st edition of Crossing the Boundaries.

Read about our past conferences and find information about the 2012 Undergraduate Panel right here.

Please join us in hearing the work of three of Binghamton University’s own Art History undergraduate majors and members of the Undergraduate Art History Association. This year, the panel will be held in the art museum. The panel members will each present 10-15 minute papers followed by a question and answer session.

11:00 – 12:00
Moderator: Katerina Acuna

The Naturally Lit Cube: Dia:Beacon’s Natural Light and Perceptual Experience
Alex Feim
The Dia:Beacon is a museum unlike most others, in that it uses almost entirely natural light when displaying its collection. The work within this museum environment is supposedly one without frames, pedestals, or wall texts. However, despite this, the museum still contextually frames the art. Looking to three case studies within the museum, I examine how the art exists not at a distance from the visitor, but rather in the same space. Dan Flavin’s untitled red and blue light sculpture is situated in front of a large window, which creates a fascinating juxtaposition of artificial and natural light.
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Keynote: Ariella Azoulay, “Revolutionary Moments and State Violence”

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Ariella Azoulay is an Assistant Professor of comparative literature and modern culture and media in Brown University. She will present her talk on Saturday, April 27, 2013, 6:15pm.



Abstract:

A few years ago, when I began my research on the revolutions of the 18th century, I was guided by the intuition that revolution is a special type of language, and created an archive of its different manifestations. This intuition was initially based on my reading of texts and pamphlets written by protestors deprived of civil rights – mainly women and blacks, alongside images from the same context. The archive became a laboratory for further exploration of this intuition. I started by identifying statements, forms, body gestures, grammar and rules, and re-conceptualizing some of the notions related to the discourse of revolution. Through a reading of a few photos, I’ll historicize the link between revolution and violence, and question its unavoidability.

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Keynote: Prof. Julia Walker, “Allegory/Archipelago: Crossing Berlin’s Boundaries”

CTB_Julia

Julia Walker is Assistant Professor of Art History at Binghamton University. Her talk, titled “Allegory/Archipelago: Crossing Berlin’s Boundaries,” will be held on Friday, April 26, 2013, at 5:30pm.

Abstract:

Upon winning the commission to master plan Berlin’s new government district, Axel Schultes remarked, “the challenge posed by the competition was to coax the soul out of the Spreebogen, the genius loci, to pour its historical and spatial dimensions into the mold of a new architectural allegory.” Schultes and his partner, Charlotte Frank, had generated public enthusiasm with a design anchored by a Band des Bundes (or “ribbon of federal buildings”) spanning the Spree River twice and traversing the former boundary between east and west. Supporters saw the plan as symbolically repairing the torn urban fabric and suturing together the formerly divided city. Indeed, Schultes and Frank’s design thematized the Spreebogen’s status as a boundary that needed somehow to be crossed—a historical zone of rupture, movement, and surveillance, from the course of the Berlin Wall along the Spree to the spectral presence of Albert Speer’s imposing north-south boulevard. Yet Schultes’s reflection that the Spreebogen’s vexed history must be refigured as a “new architectural allegory” also reveals that the boundary between his plan and its precedents is theoretical as well as historical. Schultes and Frank’s postmodern approach to urban planning draws heavily on the thinking of Rem Koolhaas and O. M. Ungers, who had planned in 1977 to reconfigure Berlin as the “green archipelago,” a decentralized, fragmented, and dispersed city in which islands of architectural intensity floated in depopulated green space. In both the allegory and the archipelago, the unified city is hardly unified, but rather diffuse and inchoate.

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