Call for Participation
CAA College Art Association 102nd Annual Conference
Chicago, February 12-15, 2014
DEADLINE EXTENDED: May 13, 2013
Contemporary Art and Radical Democracy in Asia
How has the idea of democracy motivated radical art in Asia? How haveÂ Asian artists imagined radical forms of democracy? We invite papers toÂ reflect on how Asian artists have engaged with, reinvented, andÂ radicalized the notion of democracy since the 1960s. This panel willÂ not only cast a much-needed theoretical perspective to the study ofÂ contemporary Asian art; it will also enrich global discussions onÂ critical art and the renewal of democratic ideals.
The question of political representation has always been one of theÂ key driving forces behind artistic productions in Asia. Whether inÂ authoritarian regimes or democratized states, art has provided aÂ fertile ground to imagine alternatives to existing political orders.Â The panel will consider topics including but not limited to: How didÂ Chinese artists work with the idea of daminzhu (mass democracy) duringÂ and after the Cultural Revolution? How have Indian artists conjuredÂ radical enclaves in the world’s largest democracy? How did artists inÂ South Korea contribute to minjung undong (People’s Movement) in theÂ 1980s, and how have they continued to reinvigorate the notion ofÂ publics after the country instituted a democratic system in 1987? WhatÂ can we discern in the recent surge of activist art in Hong Kong,Â Indonesia, Taiwan, and Japan? And how are new media artists in AsiaÂ using online technologies to push the political and conceptualÂ boundaries of democracy?
In recent years, the theory of radical democracy put forward byÂ Chantal Mouffe and Ernesto Laclau in the mid-1980s has inspired livelyÂ discussions on “antagonistic art” (Bishop), “dialogical aesthetics”Â (Kester), and “social practice” (Esche, Sholette, Jackson) in EuropeÂ and North America. Building on these discussions, this panel also aimsÂ to draw insights from the writings by Asian theorists such as DipeshÂ Chakrabarty, Wang Hui, and Karatani Kojin.
We welcome proposals from artists, historians, and theorists. PapersÂ can (a) focus on a specific country/region, (b) adopt a comparativeÂ approach, or (c) propose new theoretical frameworks.
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