(P034)
Cultural Professional Practice in the Age of Globalisation
Location British Museum - Studio
Date and Start Time 03 Jun, 2018 at 15:30
Sessions 1

Convenors

  • Sarina Wakefield (Zayed University) email
  • Sabrina DeTurk (Zayed University) email

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Short abstract

This session aims to explore how global cultural professional practice has emerged within and alongside the globalisation of the cultural arts sector. The session is particularly interested in exploring the cultural and political implications of professional cultural practice in the global arena.

Long abstract

Globalisation of the cultural sector has resulted in the emergence of global art fairs, world expos, transnational exhibitions, branch museums and so on. The globalisation of professional cultural practice has developed within and alongside these activities. This panel seeks to explore how and in what ways globalisation has affected the development of professional cultural practice. How are global arts practices institutionalised? Who governs global cultural practice and how does this affect the institutionalisation of the sector? How does the globalisation of cultural and creative practices affect local and regional art markets? How do individuals experience and respond to globalising processes within the cultural sector? Papers can explore any aspect of professional cultural practice including cultural heritage, museums, arts and artistic practice, digital and online cultural production and so on. Papers addressing issues around identity, politics, power, transmission and translation are particularly welcomed. Paper proposals can be either practice or conceptually focused.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.

Papers

Archiving Photography in Lebanon : the case of the SOLIDERE and Beirut Central District

Author: Sophie Brones (Ecole nationale supérieure d'architecture de Versailles) email

Short abstract

The Beirut's reconstruction photographic archives produced by a private multinational real estate company involves international photographers and new cultural professional practises that deals with the effects of globalisation on power issues and the definition of local culture.

Long abstract

This presentation deals with photographic archival practises in the Middle East from the experience of the Beirut's reconstruction photographic archives. This archive is produced by the private multinational real estate company SOLIDERE that develops Beirut city center since the end of the lebanese civil war (1991). The urban project, based on the demolition of almost 80% of the old urban fabric, sees in parallel the constitution of an important archive composed by thousands of photographies covering the transformation of the urban landscape. International and local photographers are involved, but also local and regional institutions that define a new cultural role for the real estate company. We will explain how though this archive SOLIDERE adopts global collecting practises, adressing identity and power issues, but also the status of materiality and document in this special context.

Globalization and Precarization of the Art Milieu in Iran: Emergence of New Peripheries

Author: Amin Moghadam (Princeton University ) email

Short abstract

Based on recent fieldwork conducted in Iran and several interviews conducted with Iranian artists, this presentation examines the impact of the globalization of the contemporary art scene in Iran and the emergence of a monopoly situation that have increased the precarity of artists 'careers.

Long abstract

In Iran, the configuration of actors in charge of the visual arts sector, both as a cultural domain in the public interest and as a lucrative market, has evolved constantly over the past fifty years: From the Pahlavi monarchy, which made this sector one of the drivers of its international image-building to the revolutionary forces who hoped to make it a channel for broadcasting the ideology of the Islamic Republic.

Today in a broader neoliberal context, the Iranian state has delegated its responsibility in the field of contemporary art development to various private and semi-private actors. Art entrepreneurialism has reconfigured the role of public and private stakeholders in defining cultural policy and managing the relevant spaces. The legitimacy of the private and semi-private sectors is often built upon their access to various spheres of influence at the regional and international levels and on the absence of the constraints public stakeholders are often faced with. In addition, the outsourcing of the cultural sector coincides with the ambitions of individuals hoping to make new symbolic and financial capital out of a strategic rapprochement with the arts community. This situation has resulted in a monopoly situation that has increased the precarity of many artists' careers but also contributed to the emergence of new peripheries that challenge the current system. This presentation is based on recent fieldwork carried out in Iran and several interviews conducted with Iranian artists and entrepreneurs.

Material Culture in the Louvre Abu Dhabi: Museological and Art Historical Perspectives

Authors: Sabrina DeTurk (Zayed University) email
Sarina Wakefield (Zayed University) email

Short abstract

The Louvre Abu Dhabi, which opened in November 2017, has positioned itself as the first universal museum within the Middle East. This paper, taking a museological and art historical perspective, seeks to explore how the Louvre Abu Dhabi attempts to de-center and re-define how the art historical canon has played out within the collection.

Long abstract

The Louvre Abu Dhabi, which opened in November 2017, has positioned itself as the first universal museum within the Middle East. The museum has sought to re-frame the way in which it engages with and presents its ‘universal’ narrative to its many publics through what might be termed a more global approach to art history. The concept of global art history has been circulating in academic circles for some years and has yielded a range of books and articles questioning how the traditional art historical canon might be disrupted, or at least re-envisioned, to give greater prominence to the arts of the non-Western world. In its quest to help visitors ‘see humanity in a new light’ the Louvre Abu Dhabi similarly attempts to create a new approach to museum curation, by placing objects from similarly time periods but diverse cultures together in its galleries. This paper, taking a museological and art historical perspective, seeks to explore how the Louvre Abu Dhabi attempts to de-center and re-define how the art historical canon has played out within the collection. While the Louvre Abu Dhabi includes objects from around the globe, the paper will critically explore how the material culture on and from the Middle East is represented and how this relates to the dominant global discourse of the museum. In addition, the paper will discuss how the material culture of the Global South have begun to re-shape the geographies of art by challenging traditional paradigms of aesthetics and connoisseurship.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.