about ‘art in the periphery’

Edwin Holgate, View of the cemetery of Gitanmaax (Tombeaux indiens, rivière Skeena), 1926, oil on canvas, 31.8 x 40. 6 cm, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (source: https://www.mbam.qc.ca/en/collections/quebec-and-canadian-art/#detail-22521)

Edwin Holgate, View of the cemetery of Gitanmaax (Tombeaux indiens, rivière Skeena), 1926, oil on canvas, 31.8 x 40. 6 cm, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (source: https://www.mbam.qc.ca/en/collections/quebec-and-canadian-art/#detail-22521)

The research network ‘art in the periphery’ focuses on geographic as well as thematic areas that have been neglected by traditional and/or canonical art history. Eschewing models that have been for the most part produced in artistic centers and often uncritically reproduced in the peripheries, it will seek to populate the discipline with alternative narratives on the specific and complex ways art (conceived in the widest sense imaginable) was/is produced, displayed and consumed.

Its members wish to question traditional chronological and stylistic divisions, and challenge established hierarchies. Using the term ‘periphery’ as a key concept, they will seek to both revitalize scholarship relevant to it and radically revise it. No longer understood to mean ‘secondary, derivative, dependent, passive’, the ‘periphery’ will be understood as a structure with distinct characteristics and priorities that might in turn undermine values espoused in artistic centers, such as authorship and originality (often applied anachronistically). More importantly, the periphery will not be framed in exclusively geographical terms (as a region distinct from the center), but rather as situated at the margins of dominant art history. As such, it may refer to areas, periods or even materials that have been delegated a secondary position in the hierarchy of fine arts (the decorative arts can serve as a prime example of this process). The group intends to work towards the understanding of the periphery as an identity that is plural, historical and fluid, rather than homogeneous, fixed and a permanent attribute, focusing on the non-linearity of cultural phenomena and of historical time.

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The ‘art in the periphery’ network was launched in July 2013 by Foteini Vlachou. It aims to bring together scholars working on various aspects of the periphery and covering a wide range of chronological periods and geographical areas.

Should you wish to join the network, please send a short bio and a brief description of your research interests. Membership is free, pending approval by the scientific committee of the group (Arthur Valle, Nóra Veszprémi and Foteini Vlachou). You can consult the Members page and find contact details here.

 

© Foteini Vlachou 2013-2016

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