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Amidst rising nationalisms and populisms across the world the art world remains resolutely global in aspiration, undergirded by processes described as "globalization." Although ubiquitous, the vagueness of this term means it remains a challenge to define what the global in the global art world is.
Amidst rising nationalisms and populisms across the world, the art world remains resolutely global in aspiration, undergirded by numerous processes contained in the term "globalization." Its ubiquity notwithstanding, the vagueness of this term means that it remains a challenge for scholars to define what exactly the "global" of the global art world is. In fact, many local, regional and national "art worlds" exist side by side, rather than entwined in transnational formations, while asymmetrical mobility and power relations mean that only some artworks and artists, curators, dealers, and writers rapidly criss-cross the world. Art works and artists continue to be defined, designated, and embedded in a national sphere even as international circulation is facilitated by exhibitions, art fairs, auctions, and biennials mediated by gatekeepers, tastemakers and institutions. How do these global and national formations of art occur simultaneously, and through which mechanisms do they work to make art happen? What kinds of economic and symbolic power are activated to make the "global" of the global art world? How and by whom are these processes mediated, coproduced, or negated? How are art's values—aesthetic, economic, ethical—agreed upon beyond a national field? We seek papers that engage with the following: the circulation of art in transnational and global contexts; how the global articulates in national or local art worlds; or examine the use of art to uphold national imaginaries. Papers that update or revise established theories of cultural circulation and transmission are particularly welcome.