November 17-18th, 2017
This forum aims to bring together emerging voices from previously marginalized countries that are poised to become an essential part of the global conversation in contemporary art today. The event will take place November 17th-18th in McLaren Conference Center at the University of San Francisco. Admission is free and this event is open to the public.
The relationship between art and globalization is seen by many experts as a one-way street in which powerful countries, their art institutions, and their artists, dominate a broadening sphere of cultural production. There is more than a grain of truth in that analysis, but this forum aims to provide a platform for the development of a countervailing narrative. Globalization has produced multiple lines of communication though many scholars and professionals in the United States and Europe have remained blind to these developments. The voices of artists, curators, and critics who do not operate in the United States and Europe have been considered marginal but scholars and professionals need to rethink these norms. Thus, the focus will be to explore the developments of artists and institutions from the (former) periphery that diffuse their own innovations into global culture and, in so doing, transform the meaning of the visual arts, as well as the social dynamics and market processes of the art world.
The best way to get a sense of the nature of recent changes to the art world as a result of globalization is to look at how new dynamics have unfolded in specific locations. In his most recent book, Art and the Global Economy (UC, Press, 2017), John Zarobell explores the dynamics of the globalization in the shifting world of art. This forum will stage a conversation between arts professionals, among some of the collaborators in the book, from cities as far flung as Hong Kong, Istanbul and Mexico City.
In this forum nine participants will discuss the emergent character of their own artistic domains and enter into conversation with one another. This event will have enormous benefit for artists, curators, critics and dealers in the San Francisco arts community, but it is highly relevant to graduate and undergraduate students at USF and other campuses around the Bay Area. More importantly, it would promote social justice by giving a voice to curators, artists and nonprofit administrators from formerly marginalized countries about how they see the future of the art world.
In addition, a workshop entitled “Global Manifestos” will elicit audience participation in the event by providing a platform for attendees to record a 60-second video reflecting their views on globalization. These recordings will be edited and be available online as a permanent record of how citizens of the Bay Area and beyond respond to present challenges regarding globalization.
Funding for the Forum was provided by an anonymous donor and the following sources at the University of San Francisco: The Jesuit Foundation, the Center for Research, Artistic and Scholarly Excellence (CRASE), the International Studies Department, the Deans of Arts & Sciences, the Center for Asia Pacific Studies, the Master’s in Museum Studies, Asian Studies, African Studies, European Studies, and the Master’s in Urban and Public Affairs.