Worshipping Siva in the museum

DAI - Großer Saal

  • Prof. Monica Juneja (Atlanta)
  • Alterity and the challenges of writing art history in a transcultural frame
  • Vortrag

Eine gemeinsame Vortragsreihe von: Exzellenzcluster ?Asia and Europe? der Universität Heidelberg & Deutsch-Amerikanisches Institut Heidelberg

Does placing a sacred object in a metropolitan museum involve affiixing a ?secular? label to it and thereby constitute an act of epistemic violence? Alternatively, when museum displays reinsert an object from an alien culture in its sacral context, can this be read as a form of cultural essentialism that denies non-Western objects the status of art? These questions have been at the centre of recent debates about cultural difference and have often pointed towards the incommensurability of Western and non-Western notions of art. This lecture argues for the need to find a common matrix within which multiple and intersecting histories of art could find a place. It draws attention to some of the challenges which confront us when trying to negotiate historical semantics across cultures and at the same time avoid creating one more master narrative. It then goes on to suggest a possible framework within which a transcultural investigation of artistic production might be undertaken by presenting a case study of intersescting modernisms, historically coeval yet culturally distinct, unfolding at multiple sites in Europe and South Asia in the twentieth century.

Prof. Monica Juneja (University of Delhi) is Visiting Professor at Emory University, Atlanta. Her teaching and research interests span Western Europe and South Asia. She has researched and written on practices of visual representation, issues of architectural heritage and memory, gender and political iconography, postcoloniality, historical semantics and the disciplinary practices of art history. She has worked as academic advisor to museums and exhibitions and is on the editorial board of The Medieval History Journal and Werkstatt Geschichte

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