January 25, 2021, by Franziska Koch

CfP: Conference “Transcultural Curation and the Post-Covid World”, CCVA, Birmingham 2-3 Dec 2021, submission 31 March 2021

The Centre for Chinese Visual Arts (CCVA) at Birmingham City University calls for papers in context of its 14th Aanual Conference “Transcultural Curation and the Post-Covid World” (2-3 December 2021). The Centre aims to sharpen understandings and perspectives of Chinese contemporary arts, design and visual culture through interdisciplinary practices and theoretical studies. The two-day conference invites researchers, curators, artists, designers and practitioners at all stages of their careers to reassess the significance of transcultural curation, both before and after the Covid-19 pandemic.

The idea of the ‘transcultural’ is currently gaining momentum in academic, curatorial and artistic contexts, providing a framework for thinking through non-hegemonic global exchanges and knowledge production. Highlighting entanglements between and within cultures, the transcultural provides a new set of ethical, methodological and theoretical concerns, as well as a timely platform for curatorial and artistic practices in the globalised art world. How do exhibitions of Chinese contemporary art engage with the ideas and possibilities of transcultural curation, and with what kinds of political imaginaries? In what ways is Chinese contemporary art mobilised through international exhibitions situated in between institutional, commercial, independent art spaces and beyond?

Following the arrival of the coronavirus, the normal, globalised art world is in a state of suspension. From the closure or delay of biennials/triennials around the world, restricted access to art venues, to virtual exhibitions and programmes, what is the new role of a curator? With the impact of the Covid-19 crisis, the increasing geopolitical, economic and cultural conflicts between China and its Western allies, the rise of racist attacks against Chinese in the diaspora, what does the ‘transcultural’ mean in the post-Covid context?

Drawing on the rich history and debates on decolonial approaches that move beyond binaries and static positions of East-West, at the current pivotal moment, we are exploring innovative discussions, new understandings and methodological approaches in curatorial research and practice. This conference seeks to open up new modes of enquiry within the fields of art, curation, visual culture and cultural studies in China, and beyond.

Possible perspectives for proposals include, but are not limited to:

  • Curating China as a method
  • Transcultural and transnational
  • Production, dissemination, participation and reception of Chinese contemporary art in a global context
  • Relations between international exhibitions and (de)globalisation
  • Tensions between the local and the global, between the indigenous and the international
  • Curatorial strategies and practices during and after the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Curatorial visions for the art of contemporary China in the post-Covid world

Please submit an abstract of up to 300 words, a 100-word biography, contact information and any institutional affiliations, by 31 March 2021 to ccva@bcu.ac.uk, with a subject titled ‘14th CCVA Annual Conference’. Any general queries should also be directed to ccva@bcu.ac.uk. Conference presentations should last no more than 20 minutes. Successful proposals for conference contributions will be notified no later than 1 May 2021. Invited full papers should be submitted by 31 March 2022, for the Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art (Intellect)’s special double edition 9.2&3 edited by Professor Jiang Jiehong and Dr. Nuria Querol to be published in the autumn 2022.

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