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“Primitivism” in the age of decolonization

Le « primitivisme » à l'heure de la décolonisation

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Published on Monday, March 11, 2019 by Céline Guilleux

Summary

After the Second World War, as the process of decolonization built up momentum around the world, it can seem rather surprising to observe the continuing attraction of many artists to the “primitive.” Nonetheless, a longing for the “original,” the prehistoric, the “savage” persisted in Europe, the U.S. and even in some of the former colonies. Considering “primitivism” as a paradigm with shifting contours, this symposium proposes to explore the resiliency and transformations of the primitivist imaginary in light of several questions: Is the classical opposition between the “modern” and the “primitive” contested or reiterated in the 1950’s and 1970’s? If there was an anticolonial dimension in the primitivist language developed by the modernists in the 1910’s to 1930’s, how would one characterize the politics of members of the CoBrA avant-garde movement or Jean Dubuffet?

Announcement

Presentation

After the Second World War, as the process of decolonization built up momentum around the world, it can seem rather surprising to observe the continuing attraction of many artists to the “primitive.” Nonetheless, a longing for the “original,” the prehistoric, the “savage” persisted in Europe, the U.S. and even in some of the former colonies. Considering “primitivism” as a paradigm with shifting contours, this symposium proposes to explore the resiliency and transformations of the primitivist imaginary in light of several questions: Is the classical opposition between the “modern” and the “primitive” contested or reiterated in the 1950’s and 1970’s? If there was an anticolonial dimension in the primitivist language developed by the modernists in the 1910’s to 1930’s, how would one characterize the politics of members of the CoBrA avant-garde movement or Jean Dubuffet? On what theoretical grounds do artists justify their engagement with what is far removed from their own immediate experience (geographically, culturally, temporally)? And what about those who were once believed to embody the “primitive” and yet who were now laying the groundwork for a transnational and “modern” art in Algeria, Senegal, Sudan or Mozambique? Multidisciplinary and international, this symposium will gather Ph.D. students as well as established scholars and artists in order to foster fresh and original research.

Programme

  • 9h00 : Accueil des intervenants.
  • 9h30 : Maureen Murphy et Zoë Strother, introduction
  • 10h00 : Revendiquer l'animisme après-guerre : polémique. Baptiste Brun, Université Rennes 2, EA Histoire et critique des arts.
  • 10h30 : Primitivisme et préhistoire : la question de l'historicité dans le travail de Jean Dubuffet et de Claes Oldenburg. Maria Stavrinaki, Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne/Centre Georg Simmel (EHESS)
  • 11h : Pause café.
  • 11h30 : La piste celte de l’ancêtre commun. L’Ecosse au centre de l’Europe dans les années 1970. Deborah Laks, Sciences Po, Paris/Université de Genève
  • 12h00 : Leni Riefenstahl and the Nuba. Zoë Strother, Columbia University, New York
  • 12h30 : Discussion et pause déjeuner.
  • 14h00 : Ernest Mancoba et le mouvement CoBRA : l’histoire d’un malentendu ? Maureen Murphy, Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, HICSA, Institut universitaire de France.
  • 14h30 : Primitivism in Mozambique from the End of Colonialism to Revolution. Álvaro Luís Lima, Columbia University, NY
  • 15h00 : Pause café.
  • 15h30 :  Hassan Musa, artiste. De l’école de Khartoum à « l’art contemporain africain ». Entretien avec Maureen Murphy.
  • 16h15 : Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Columbia University, New York : discussion et clôture.

Places

  • INHA, salle Vasari - 2 Rue Vivienne
    Paris, France (75002)

Date(s)

  • Friday, March 22, 2019

Keywords

  • primitivisme, décolonisation, art

Contact(s)

  • Maureen Murphy
    courriel : maureen [dot] murphy [dot] 1 [at] gmail [dot] com

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Maureen Murphy
    courriel : maureen [dot] murphy [dot] 1 [at] gmail [dot] com

To cite this announcement

« “Primitivism” in the age of decolonization », Study days, Calenda, Published on Monday, March 11, 2019, https://calenda.org/569542

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