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Kunsthistorisches Institut

Ambivalent Work*s: Queer Perspectives and Art History

An online workshop with contributions by Ashkan Sepahvand, David Getsy, Derek Conrad Murray, Diyi Tan, Katrin Köppert, Rena Onat and Renate Lorenz.

04.12.20 - 05.12.20



Ambivalent Work*s

Organized by Christian Liclair (Free University Berlin), Daniel Berndt (University of Zurich), Fiona McGovern (University of Hildesheim) and Susanne Huber (Free University Berlin), in collaboration with Nadine Jirka (University of Zurich) and Sabine Bradel (University of Zurich).

Can there be a queer art history – and if so, what is its subject matter? Would it be dedicated to the critical examination of so-called “queer art,” art concerned with the subversion of identity categories and heteronormative premises? Would queer art history be invested in inclusion of this very art to the canon of an academic discipline? Or would its focus rather be on the interpretation of artworks from a decidedly queer perspective that, starting from a critique of normative categories, subjects the discipline itself to a fundamental re-evaluation?

The workshop focuses on various possible practices of queer art history and their mediation. Concrete methodological approaches that did prove fruitful for the project of queer art history thus far will be discussed alongside potential outlooks to consolidate queer perspectives within the field. Besides considering notions and concepts such as visibility, failure, irritation, anti-assimilation, disidentification, or confrontation the workshop seeks to investigate how queer perspectives on art history can sustainably resist normative forces. It aims to outline the frameworks, which need to be implemented to expand the discipline, to anchor identity-critical approaches in art historical research as well as teaching, and to disrupt and dissolve the existing (methodological and material) canon of art history.