Ariella Azoulay | Plunder: The Origins of Modern Art
Where: The Cooper Union
7 E. 7th St. | 41 Cooper Sq.
212-353-4100 Price: Free
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From the beginning, art has been imperialism’s preferred terrain. Much has been written about the impoverishment of different cultures whose artistic treasures were expropriated to enrich Western aristocracies and embellish Western museums. What will be the meaning of modern art if we consider this plunder its origin?
Ariella Azoulay is a Professor of Modern Culture and Media and Comparative Literature at Brown University, a film essayist and an independent curator of archives and exhibitions. Azoulay’s research and forthcoming book focus on the potential history of key political concepts-institutions: archives, sovereignties, art, revolutions, and human rights. Potential history, a concept and an approach that she has developed over the last decade, has far-reaching implications for the fields of political theory, knowledge formations and visual culture. Her books include: Civil Imagination: The Political Ontology of Photography (Verso, 2012) and The Civil Contract of Photography (Zone Books, 2008). Her first photographic archive, Act of State 1967-2007, is part of the Centre Pompidou collection and accessible to researchers.
This event is held in partnership with the Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies at NYU.
The Intra-Disciplinary Seminar (IDS) Public Lecture Series, designed as an introduction to some of the most pressing questions driving contemporary thought and practice, consists of lectures by artists, theorists, activists, designers, writers, curators, and other practitioners involved in the arts from positions that embody an interdisciplinary approach or that imply new uses for disciplinary traditions.
This year’s series is organized along three general directions: “Open Space: Building”, where we look at the social function of architecture, and how people move through space or build physical or symbolic spaces. “Open Image: Thresholds of Form”, where we think about the practice of image making, as well as the perception and interpretation of aesthetic production. “Open Methods: The (Post-)Colonial Contemporary”, where we wonder how to theorize the present moment, with regard to its political and ethical dimensions. IDS is organized by Leslie Hewitt, assistant professor at the School of Art of The Cooper Union, and Omar Berrada the director of Dar al-Ma’mûn, a library and artists’ residency in Marrakech and an adjunct instructor at The Cooper Union.Buy tickets/get more info now