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Figures of revolution in visual art and culture (MSA17)

Talk of revolution in the visual arts very often registers today as a worn-out cliché, inhabiting the same territory as the talk of 'movements', 'ruptures', and 'radical shifts' that sustains so many discourses on art, whether categorized as 'contemporary' or 'modern'. Yet is it possible to think not so much of the rhetoric of revolution in art history (and related fields), but rather of the figurations and political configurations of revolution in and beyond what we name 'art'? Do revolutions need art, or a visual form, to take shape? If, as curator Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev has contended, we may speak of a revolutionary 'energy and potential latent in forms themselves', how would this potential in art come into contact with a revolutionary politics? What would a materialist account of the figures and forms of revolution look like? The motif of the vortex in Russian Constructivism, or the irruptive presence of digital media in the 2011 Egyptian revolution, are perhaps examples of such figures and configurations. Papers are invited that approach these questions from a variety of historical, critical, and theoretical perspectives. Please send abstract (approximately 200-250 words) and short bio to morgan.thomas@uc.edu by April 16.

Conference Location: Boston, USA
Conference Starts: November 19, 2015
Conference Ends: November 22, 2015

CFP Submission Deadline: April 16, 2015

For more information, contact: Morgan Thomas

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