Art History’s History in Australia and New Zealand

At the University of Melbourne on August 28th and 29th, a conference on “Art History’s History in Australia and New Zealand.”

Among the scheduled lectures are:

  • Heather Barker and Charles Green: “No Place like Home: Australian Art History and Contemporary Art, 1961-1981”
    • “This idea of world art did not, however, diminish the Australian preoccupation with nation and national identity. Rather, it was to result in key writings, from Terry Smith’s articles on provincialism to Paul Taylor’s postmodern polemics in Art and Text, all of which above all sought to locate Australian art in relation to international (which largely remained American) art….
      “Emergent generations of young art writers and art historians could not participate in the establishment of a sustainable and sustained discourse on contemporary art without participating, within the context of Cold War politics from Kennedy to Reagan, in a reification of the category of ‘Australian’, no matter how hard they tried.”
  • Terry Smith: “Objects, Topics, Mediums, Subjects: Nationalism, Internationalism and Indigeneity in the Historiography of Australian Art since the 1980s”
    • “This paper will focus on the changing array of core concerns of those writing histories of Australian art since the 1980s, with a primary focus on how these are calibrated by the constantly shifting exchange between indigenous, national and international perspectives in our art world.”

A PDF file with abstracts is online.