Alexander Alberro is the Virginia Wright Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History at Barnard College and Columbia University where he teaches modern and contemporary European, US, and Latin American art, as well as the history of photography. His writings have been published in a broad range of journals and exhibition catalogues, and translated into numerous languages. He is also the author and editor of numerous books, including Abstraction in Reverse: The Reconfigured Spectator in Mid-Twentieth Century Latin American Art (2017); Working Conditions: The Writings of Hans Haacke (2016); Luis Camnitzer in Conversation with Alexander Alberro (2014); What is Contemporary Art Today? (2012); John Miller: The Ruin of Exchange (2012); Institutional Critique: An Anthology of Artists’ Writings (2009); and Art After Conceptual Art (2006). Alberro is presently completing a book-length study, The Shape of Contemporary Art, that focuses on the transformation of the infrastructure of art in the new geography of globalization. He is the founding editor of the University of California Press’s book series Studies on Latin American Art, which commissions publications of art history and cultural practices emerging from Central and South America, the Caribbean, and the Latin American diaspora in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
In-person: Room 807, Schermerhorn Hall, Columbia University (1190 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027)
Online: Register for the Zoom Webinar
This conference explores the entanglements between artistic expression and the movement of people, ideas, and capital across the globe in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. The identity and experience of migrants have changed dramatically in recent decades. Today, more people are on the move, their destinations are more uncertain, and their journeys are more complex than ever before. “The Politics and Aesthetics of Migration” addresses art’s relationship to these forms of movement. Drawing on a wide range of debates in several disciplines, it explores current trends in artistic and cultural analysis, reexamines the connection between the stranger and the migrant, and questions the forces that have organized economic globalization.
The realities of migration have transformed the arts in several ways. First, they have de-linked art history from the nation-state and troubled the often-fraught relationship between artistic expression and national infrastructures. Second, they have allowed recalibrating of the relationship between center and periphery, metropole and colony. Finally, they have questioned how the particular experiences captured in artworks critically engage the undergirding structural conditions. “The Politics and Aesthetics of Migration” explores how these movements have reshaped art and culture in recent decades and have contributed to shaping identities and their publics.
We have structured the conference into two panels with three speakers each to address these questions. The speakers have varied regional expertise. The conference is hosted by the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University and the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA), and is organized by Alexander Alberro, Pujan Karambeigi, and Laura Tibi.
PANEL 1: 12:00 PM EDT
Realism in the Balance
Pedro R. Erber, Waseda University
Sanjukta Sunderason, University of Amsterdam
Niko Vicario, Amherst College
Moderator: Pujan Karambeigi, Columbia University
PANEL 2: 3:00 PM EDT
Omar Berrada, The Cooper Union
Natalia Brizuela, University of California, Berkeley
Jennifer González, University of California, Santa Cruz
Moderator: Laura Tibi, Columbia University