Art and Imperialism
> > Art and Imperialism disrupts two outstanding bourgeois assumptions: that art is necessarily good, and that art generates the economy. Probing whether contemporary art can in fact be “subversive,” asking what is the social responsibility of arts institutions, and tracing the economic role of art in the super-exploitation that sustains global value chains, this panel challenges the claims made by contemporary artists and institutions from ethical, theoretical, and empirical perspectives. In his talk “criticality versus revolt? Occasional remarks on the politics of art in Los Angeles,” Daniel Spaulding will ask whether the concept of “radical art” is nothing but an ideological chimera, given art’s deep complicity with capitalist violence. Do the lessons of twentieth-century avant-gardes such as Dadaism or the Situationist International have anything to tell us about current struggles against gentrification and displacement in general, and specifically in Boyle Heights? Anuradha Vikram will examine test the culpability of arts institutions to their communities and broader society. How is cultural capital used to distract from the siphoning of real capital away from communities of color in Los Angeles and elsewhere?Museums do not just mediate the state ideologically, they are part of a complex “shadow state” outsourcing of welfare. Nizan Shaked will show how late capitalism molds civil society to support wealth accumulation, outlining how ambiguous private/public nonprofit partnerships “artwash” enormous profits from offshoring and other forms of exploitation.
SUNDAY November 5th - 09:00am - 10:15am
California State University Long Beach
Dr. Nizan Shaked is a professor of contemporary art history at California State University Long Beach, where she heads the Museum and Curatorial Studies Program. She holds a Master of Fine Arts from Otis College of Art and Design, a Masters in Critical and Curatorial Studies from University of California Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies with a focus on Museum Studies, from Claremont Graduate University. Shaked has written extensively about art and exhibitions, and is a member of the editorial board of X-TRA Contemporary Art Quarterly. She was a curator of Occidental College Art Galleries, was part of the curatorial team that mounted the public exhibition How Many Billboards? Art Instead on billboards throughout Los Angeles, and has also traveled with the U.S. delegation to the 2008 Cairo Biennial. Her book The Synthetic Proposition: Conceptualism and Political Reference in Contemporary Art has just been published with Manchester University Press. She is currently working on a book titled Museums, the Public, and the Value of Art: The Political Economy of Art Collections, forthcoming with Bloomsbury Press.
Daniel Spaulding is an art historian based in the Los Angeles area, where he works at Getty Research Institute and teaches at Art Center College of Design. Daniel received his PhD from Yale's Department of the History of Art in 2017. His writings have appeared in publications such as Art Journal, October, Mute Magazine, and Historical Materialism.
18th Street Arts Center
Anuradha Vikram is a writer, curator, and educator based in Los Angeles. She is Artistic Director at 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica, California. Her research combines media studies, theory of globalization, and critical race discourse with early modern, modern, and contemporary art history. Significant publications include a book of essays on contemporary art and politics, Decolonizing Culture (San Francisco: CCA/Art Practical/Sming Sming Books, 2017), as well as “Jimmie Durham: At the Center of the World” (X-TRA, vol. 20 no. 1, Fall 2017), "'Naked in the Sight of the Object': Masking, Masquerade, and Black Identity" (X-TRA, vol. 18 no. 4, Summer 2016), “Becoming Human: Nam June Paik’s Futuristic Compassion” (X-TRA, vol. 18 no. 1, Fall 2015), “A Brief and Incomplete History of Art and Technology Ventures in the Bay Area 1980-2010” (Afterimage, vol. 41, no. 6, Summer 2014), and “Sonya Rapoport: A Woman’s Place is in the Studio” (Sonya Rapoport: Pairings of Polarities. Berkeley: Heyday, 2012). She has contributed essays to Leonardo, KCET Artbound, Artillery, Hyperallergic, Daily Serving, and OPEN SPACE, the blog of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Vikram is a Senior Lecturer at Otis College of Art and Design, and a member of the Board of Directors of the College Art Association, where she serves on the Conference committee and chairs the Museums committee.