Conference „The Uses of Art: History“

Friday, 10. October 2014 um 16:30 Uhr

28th―30th November, 2014

Location: University of Hildesheim, Kulturcampus Domäne Marienburg, Hohes Haus 202

All lectures are open to public, no application required

Organisation: Prof. Dr. Thomas Lange, Department of Fine Arts and Art History, University of Hildesheim

Flyer as Download

The Uses of Art: History is supported by the Culture Programme of the European Union, Mondriaan Fund.
This conference is part of the five year programme The Uses of Art- The legacy of 1848 and 1989, organised by L’Internationale. Conference developed by Stiftung Hildesheim Universität and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven.

The conference addresses the visual arts’ approach to “history” through the fields of art history, art practise and the role of the institution. Not so much focussing on the question of evidence, but on the question of how art visualizes (and therewith produces) notions, ideas, concepts and―equally important―sensual, bodily inquiries of history.

The conference wants to ask how artistic visualizations of events past and present create and reveal a sense of history that cannot be possibly reached by historiographical methods. This does not mean that art is illustrating history or historical events. It means to ask for (and carefully analyse) the genuine contribution of artefacts towards creating and visualizing the interwoven layers of time, their potential to reveal the strong connections of a given present towards multiple pasts, the denial of (progressive) timelines and the simultaneity of that which does not belong to the same time period, the anachronism and heterochronism, the reappearance of the “ghosts” or “phantoms” of―mistakenly overcome, mistakenly “closed cases” of “history” ―as a vital (but mostly unaware) part of every present. Similarly, the conference will assess the role of the institution and exhibition making in producing and speculating on history. The museum as both civic site and pedagogical device offers a unique space within which to formulate, mediate and challenge different historical positions and methodologies. At a time when the museum´s relationship to its public is being re-calibrated and society appears in the grips of a perpetual presentism institutions seem to offer a vital forum from which to present new models for approaching history.

The 3-days-conference is part of a EU-funded 5-year project called “The Uses of Art” initiated by the museum confederation L’Internationale, which brings together six leading European museums of modern and contemporary art: Moderna galerija (MG, Ljubljana, Slovenia); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (MNCARS, Madrid, Spain); Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA, Barcelona, Spain); Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen (M HKA, Antwerp, Belgium); SALT (Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey) and Van Abbemuseum (VAM, Eindhoven, the Netherlands). L’Internationale is working together with complementary partners such as Stiftung Universität Hildesheim (UH, Hildesheim, Germany), but also Grizedale Arts (GA, Coniston, United Kingdom), Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU, Liverpool, United Kingdom), and University College Ghent School of Arts (KASK, Ghent, Belgium).


Friday, 28th November

09:30 am       Welcome and Introduction (Thomas Lange, Hildesheim)

10:00 am       Steven ten Thije (Eindhoven), Shattered Monuments―Notions of History in Riegl, Benjamin and Dorner

11:00 am       Coffee Break

11:30 am       John Byrne (Liverpool), Revolution 3.0: Arte Útil and the Use Value of History

12:30 pm       Lunch Break

02:00 pm       Nick Aikens (Eindhoven), Using history in the histories of Use: Museum of Arte Útil, Really Useful Knowledge and the Uses of Art

03:00 pm       Juan Cruz (London), The Exhibition Research Centre: tangible histories

04:00 pm       Coffee Break

04:30 pm       Lena Reisner (Braunschweig), Usership at dOCUMENTA (13)

05:30 pm       Wendelien van Oldenborgh (Rotterdam), Beauty and the Right to the Ugly (Film screening and discussion)


Saturday, 29th November

10:00 am       Christina Clausen (Hildesheim), Designing Cultural Memory: The Medieval Cathedral as a “Monument of History” in 19th Century Painting

11:00 am       Coffee Break

11:30 am       Jesús María Carrillo Castillo (Madrid), Art history as “story telling”; an approach to Reina Sofia's collection displays

12:30 pm       Lunch Break

02:00 pm       Sara Stehr (Hildesheim), From History to Imagination: Yael Bartana’s Trilogy “And Europe Will Be Stunned” Between Anachronism and the Counterfactual

03:00 pm       Thomas Lange (Hildesheim), History at present: The revealing void of Schlingensief’s Container

04:00 pm       Coffee Break

04:30 pm       Alistair Hudson (Middlesbrough), An Extended Lecture on Tree Twigs (An Ecology of Aesthetics)

05:30 pm       Georges Didi-Huberman (Paris), Between Hysteria and History: The Dialectics of Montage in Jean-Luc Godard


Sunday, 30th November

09:30 am       Srđja Popović (Belgrade), The Role of Art in contemporary nonviolent movements

10:30 am       Alexandra Pirici and Manuel Pelmuş (Bucharest/Berlin), Immaterial collections and the museum of the future

11:30 am       Coffee Break

12:00 am       Roundtable discussion



Organisation and contact:

Prof. Dr. Thomas Lange
University of Hildesheim
Department of Fine Arts and Art History
Marienburger Platz 22
31141 Hildesheim