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The 36th Association of Art Historians' Annual Conference : call for papers

Date posted: 14/08/2009

Session Title: The Discursive Space of Artists’ Films

Call for papers for the AAH10 CONFERENCE (Association of Art Historians) at the University of Glasgow, 15017 April 2010

Session Convenors

  • Sarah Smith, Glasgow School of Art,
  • Sarah Neely, University of Stirling,
  • Maeve Connolly, Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology,

More than ever before artists working with the moving image are directly enlisting the attributes of conventional narrative cinema, both in terms of production and exhibition.  Such borrowings include direct sampling and imitation, but also exceed an engagement with pre-existing films to develop original scenarios that employ a range of features formerly the preserve of the cinematic.  Causal narration, mise-en-scène and working with actors, for instance, are increasingly common aspects of artists’ films. Gallery-specific screening formats, such as multi-screen, looping and installation practices persist, but now frequently combine with ‘black box’ and large-scale projection, reminiscent of the cinematic spectacle.

Despite the pervasiveness of moving image art, the study of artists’ films (especially those that draw on cinema) sits awkwardly within the academy.  Traditionally the remit of art history, this work’s affinity with experimental film and interrogation of dominant cinema has led to an increasing interest from film studies scholars.  Indeed, it is proposed that a fusion of the theoretical frameworks developed separately by film theory and art criticism provides a productive interdisciplinary framework appropriate to the study of this body of work. 

The conference organisers invite papers that advance our understanding of the critical situation of cinema-influenced artists’ films within the academy and the related institutions of art and cinema.  This session is linked to a Glasgow International screening event, curated by the session convenors, which presents a number of representative artists’ films to enhance our critical exploration of this prevalent area of contemporary visual art practice.

If you would like to offer a paper, please contact the session convenors directly, providing an abstract of your proposed paper in no more than 250 words, your name and institutional affiliation (if any).

Paper Proposal Deadline: 9TH November 2009

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