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Kunsthistorisches Institut



The present new collaborative project Unit 2 with the title Global Baroque: Transcultural and Transhistorical Approaches to Latin America, consolidates the previous collective and complementary exploration of the field, but also focuses and expands on one of the salient issues encountered in Unit 1: the global baroque. The notion of the baroque has experienced, since its rise in the late 19th century and up to postmodernism, a recurrent interest as an elusive and powerful idea, which claims universality and thus develops a transcultural and transhistorical, i.e. global aesthetic force. More specifically, appropriation and adaption of the baroque is crucial to Brazil’s modernist aesthetics and national identity. Thus, investigating the notions of the baroque in Latin America, promises to address general questions of methodology, aesthetics, historiography, and politics. Therefore, the project will give particular attention to the dialectic between the baroque and modernism and expand the view onto related trends and phenomena in contemporary Latin American art, too. The central question of the new project remains unchanged from Unit 1: Which are the coming challenges to research and teaching art history in a global world? The project will continue to aim at contributing to this international debate, especially in Latin America, and exploring the history and the prospects of different art histories by confronting Latin American and European approaches. The main goals of the project are

  • to discuss the past, present, and future identity of the discipline of art history, with a focus on the Latin American world
  • to foster international debate on the discipline of art history in a global world by connecting scholars, students, and institutions, especially in Latin America and Europe
  • to address the relations between ideas, objects, and institutions as historical and contemporary agents of a global exchange
  • to establish a substantial and lasting research and teaching experience within a tandem cooperation between a Latin American and a European department of art history, the Unifesp and the UZH.

The two-year program of Unit 2 includes scholarly and didactic activities, confronting and bridging two different academic and historiographic contexts. It builds on the experience gathered in Unit 1 and on its most successful features: two joint Field Study Trips, two joint Site Visits, four Visiting Faculties, and four Workshops. These activities shall invite students and professors to engage in the exploration the own within the other and vice-versa, to question aesthetic canons and intellectual habits, and to cross art historical borders, over and again.

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