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On Comparison and Restitution: Two Approaches to the Politics of Representation in Contemporary Art and Ethnology in a Global Context

February 13, 2020 at 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM

Location:CUAG St. Patrick's Building
Key Contact:Birgit Hopfener

On comparison and restitution: two approaches to the politics of representation in contemporary art and ethnology in a global context

Global entanglements and a rising awareness of problematic Western understandings of art have led to a new situation at art institutions in Europe: museums and collections are increasingly being opened up for artworks from global perspectives. But does this revision, or rather reformatting, of the modern canon in the so-called West also imply the overcoming of its established Eurocentric institutional hierarchies and decade-old mechanisms of power?

Rather than examining the historiography of comparison in art history, this lecture engages with the concern of comparison in art and ethnology against the backdrop of the increasing culturalization of politics. The talk will deep-dive into two recent exhibition and publication projects by Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin) and its partners, Love and Ethnology – The Colonial Dialectic of Sensitivity (after Hubert Fichte) (2017-20) and Spectral-White – The Appearance of Colonial-Era Europeans (2019-20), that try to develop new perspectives on this problematic field by realizing academic and artistic research on the epistemologies and politics of representation in (post-)colonial contexts.

This event is co-hosted by the Carleton School for Studies in Art and Culture (SSAC), the Centre for Transnational Cultural Analysis (CTCA), and the Carleton University Art Gallery (CUAG).

Poster PDF