Tropicality and Transculturation: The Tropics in Art, Popular Culture and Tourism, Panel session at the 2018 AAANZ Art Association of Australia & New Zealand annual conference Aesthetics, Politics and Histories: The Social Context of Art, RMIT University School of Art, Melbourne, December 5-8, 2018
Session convenors: Hanna Büdenbender, M.A./Dr. Miriam Oesterreich (Technische Universität Darmstadt)
The concept of tropicality describes the “conceptualization and representation of the tropics in European imagination and experience” (David Arnold). As an imaginary place of longing, the tropics are at the same time a geographical region as well as a cultural construction. Like Orientalism, tropicality is part of a discourse of power closely connected to the history of colonial expansion. Tourism to tropical destinations often follows colonialism in the steps of the 'great explorers'. Stereotypes and colonial views of tropical nature, race, gender and sexuality endure and inform representations of tropical regions in tourism and popular culture today. Western art and art history have helped with shaping such framing across time. However, the panel aims to focus on recent art practices that have questioned such normative ascriptions parallely to the history of tropicalization.
The panel addresses the power and politics of representation of the ‘tropics’ in art history and visual culture as well as the social implications on the lives of the inhabitants. It asks for artistic responses of resistance by modern as well as contemporary artists of all media related to the Pacific, South America and the Caribbean that reverse the gaze from a post-colonial, transcultural perspective. It seeks papers that analyze the specificities of tropicality in relation to other forms of ‘regional othering’ and its construction as well as deconstruction in artistic practices. Instead of a one-way flow of the ‘West’ projecting its sense of cultural difference on the ‘rest’, transcultural approaches help with addressing cultural contact and processes of cultural exchange and powerful negotiation.
About the conference: AANZ Conference 2018 Aesthetics, Politics and Histories: The Social Context of Art
Bringing together art historians, theorists, curators, critics, and artists from across the region, the conference will offer a stimulating four-day program of panels and papers, publication prizes, masterclasses and encounters with Melbourne’s vibrant arts sector.
The conference will feature distinguished keynote speakers art historian Professor Griselda Pollock (UK); Gabi Ngcobo (South Africa), curator of the 10th Berlin Biennale; Genevieve Grieves (AUS), Head of the First Peoples Department at Museums Victoria; Ema Tavola (Fiji), curator foregrounding Pacific art and artists and David Teh (Singapore), curator specializing in Southeast Asian contemporary art.
We welcome proposals for 20-minute papers at the session, which should include:
- Name and contact details
- Session and paper titles
- Proposed paper abstract (max. 250 words)
- Bio (max. 200 words)
To submit a proposal please complete the Participation Proposal Form and email to the Session Convenor, Dr. Miriam Oesterreich, Technische Universität Darmstadt firstname.lastname@example.org as an attachment in Word file (.doc or docx) by 3 September 2018. For full details about the conference and to download the call for papers and the Participation Proposal Form please visit http://aaanz.info/aaanz-home/conferences/2018-conference/.