CFP Oct 16, 2014

Truth Claims (Santa Barbara, 24 Apr 15)

Santa Barbara, California, Apr 24, 2015
Deadline: Dec 31, 2014

Diva Zumaya and Erin Travers, Goleta, CA

The Art History Graduate Student Association 40th Annual Symposium
Department of History of Art and Architecture, University of California, Santa Barbara

Truth Claims
Friday, April 24th, 2015

Historically, images and objects have been used to make claims of authority and authenticity on behalf of the artist, patron, and even the viewer, a practice that continues to this day. In her 1965 painting, Rhinoceros, done after a newspaper photograph, contemporary artist Vija Celmins makes conscious reference to Albrecht Dürer’s canonical 1515 print of the same subject. Playing with her medium, Celmins manipulates paint to mimic the appearance of a newspaper photograph, presenting her viewer with a representation twice divorced from the original subject. In so doing, she draws our attention to the separation between object and experience, an issue that has also been addressed in modern discussions of Dürer’s work. In contrast, religious images profess spiritual truths, as the Shroud of Turin continues to embody a disputed claim to spiritual authority via Christ’s corporeal presence. Addressing the wide range of shifting experiences and explanations of truth, our conference draws on a long tradition of critiques of authenticity and objectivity in the arts, humanities and interpretative sciences. We ask, how does art and architecture inform, represent or embody these questions of truth-making, as the products of particular moments and cultures? How does our engagement with and interpretations of objects and sites change according to our shifting understanding and analysis of truth claims?

We invite paper proposals from all disciplines that address issues of truth claims or contestations through visual materials, including two-dimensional arts, new media, performance, and architecture. The conference poses a series of questions about how and why objects, spaces, and images make claims to truth: What kinds of truths are explored through visual materials? What role does media play in the claims made by a work? What are the implications of the context in which an object is viewed or displayed? To what is truth made relative?

Topics may include, but are not limited to:
• issues of authenticity, authorship, originality or objectivity
• individual, communal and social relativity of truths
• the gendered, racial and cultural implications of truth
• political and moral authority in art and architecture
• knowledge production and communication
• sensory, spiritual and miraculous truths
• simulacrum, imitation and likeness
• deception and illusion
• the evidentiary status of art and architecture

Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words for 20-minute presentations along with a one-page CV to or by December 31, 2014. We will contact all submitters by February 1, 2015. Final papers, including images must be submitted to conference organizers at least one week in advance of the symposium.

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