CFP: Narrating Home in Visual Arts (Stockholm, 24-25 Jan 18)

Södertörn University and Moderna Museet, Stockholm, January 24 - 25, 2018
Deadline: Oct 15, 2017

Narrating Home in Visual Arts Through an East West Divide

Homemaking and everyday life have been central to political debates, artistic practices and for theorists in the twentieth century. For instance, Walter Benjamin considered the home at the beginning of the 20th century to be like a universe for the private citizen. To represent the home was not just à la mode; interior design as a form of self-expression was much spread across Europe and the American continent. Home interiors became metaphors for bourgeois identity, but the home was also treated as the battlefield for existential and social problems. The Swedish author Ellen Key proposed that better tastes in interior design, with simple lines and light colour schemes, would create better citizens. The Russian writer and revolutionist Alexandra Kollontay had a radically differing view than Key on family life and propagated for communal care and women’s roles outside of family structures. In the post-war period consumerism and advertising evolved around the ‘perfect’ home and private family-life. The home became once again a debated topic with political impetus.

Research on the home has contributed to discussions regarding, for instance, canon formation and power structures. In many countries in the West, the women’s movement changed how the home environment and family life were politicized in society and narrated in art in the 1960’s. In Eastern Europe and the Baltic states domestic environments have been equally potent matters but within a different political and artistic framework. Through this conference “Narrating Home in Visual Arts Through an East West Divide” we wish to explore how different fields in the visually based arts including film, design and architecture have investigated home and family life in specific Eastern and Western European cultural and political contexts. We propose a particular focus on the 1960’s – 1980’s, but we also open up for larger historical trajectories.

Confirmed Keynote speakers:
Susan E. Reid, Professor of Cultural History, Loughborough University
Andres Kurg, Senior Researcher, Estonian Academy of Arts, Faculty of Art and Culture, Institute of Art History and Visual Culture.

Possible paper topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Home in the visual arts, design and architecture in the 1960’s-80’s
• The home in art as heterogenic and culturally specific
• The home in relation to social, political, historical and aesthetic contexts
• The complexity of comparison
• Home in art and feminism in the Baltic states
• The home in art as a contested place
• The home in art as a protected place

Please email a 300 word abstract and short CV to or by 15 October 2017.

This conference is in collaboration with Moderna Museet and is funded by the Centre for Baltic and Eastern European Studies, Södertörn University.

CFP: Narrating Home in Visual Arts (Stockholm, 24-25 Jan 18). In:, Sep 28, 2017 (accessed Feb 18, 2020), <>.

Contributor: Katarina Wadstein MacLeod, Art History, Dept. of Culture and Learning, Södertörn University

Contribution published: Sep 28, 2017

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