Issue 5: Sustainable Art Communities: Creativity and Policy in the Transnational Caribbean

We are delighted to announce the publication of Issue 5 of the Open Arts Journal,

This themed issue, ‘Sustainable Art Communities: Creativity and Policy in the Transnational Caribbean’, brings together academics, artists, curators and policymakers from various countries in the English- and Dutch-speaking Caribbean and their diasporas, the UK and the Netherlands. It explores how the understanding and formation of sustainable community for the Caribbean and its global diaspora may be supported by art practice, curating and museums. The collection was developed through a two-year international research project (2012-14) led by Leon Wainwright, with Co-Investigator Kitty Zijlmans (Leiden University), focused on major public events in Amsterdam and London. The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO/Humanities).

The issue is available from our website now.

Cancellation notice due to industrial action — Open Arts Journal research seminar 25 November, 2015

Re. 25th November, Open Arts Journal research seminar with guest speaker Professor Helen Hills (University of York). PLEASE NOTE THAT DUE TO INDUSTRIAL ACTION AT THE OPEN UNIVERSITY, THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

 

The Open University is the publisher of the Open Arts Journal and provides its administrative base. An industrial dispute at the University where our research seminar is normally hosted has resulted in the cancellation of this event on 25th November.

 

The Open University will be taking strike action over the next three weeks in response to the decision to close seven of their nine regional centres (Bristol, Leeds, Cambridge, London, Oxford, Gateshead and Birmingham) and the threat to over 500 jobs. There will be an all-out strike on the 25th November followed by two weeks of strike action at different centres around the country. The staff will also be undertaking continuous action short of a strike by working to contract.

 

Further background on the UCU campaign can be found here:

https://www.facebook.com/ucu.campaigns

https://twitter.com/ucu

 

On behalf of the editorial board of the Open Arts Journal, I would like to thank Professor Hills for her kind understanding.

 

Leon Wainwright, Editor-in-Chief

 

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Abstract:  Silver & Salvation: Colonial Excess and Baroque Naples.

Helen Hills, Professor of History of Art, University of York

 

This paper examines the materiality of silver in relation to  trauma, transaction and transformation. It focuses on Naples, under Spanish rule, to explore the effects of colonialism within Europe through art and sculpture. Thus I consider the presentation of ‘the nature of the Neapolitans’ and their practices as ‘excessive’ through the material of silver. Silver was imported into Naples from Spanish territories in the so-called New World. In Naples silver is naturalized through artifice – both rendered to represent ‘nature’ and made into an apparently intrinsic part of ‘Neapolitan culture’. Indeed, the profligate display of silver in Neapolitan churches is remarked upon by foreign visitors as a mark of the very ‘nature’ of Neapolitans’ themselves.

 

 

Baroque Naples was tarnished in Protestant Europe with a reputation for excess – particularly an excess of silver in its churches and chapels, part of the mortmain of the Spanish church, a prodigious resource that was gathering dust rather than fighting wars or generating interest. Silver was the material par excellence for chalices, pyx and plate, for carte di gloria and sacred and liturgical objects of many kinds, including the spectacular solid silver reliquaries in the Treasury Chapel of San Gennaro in Naples, unsurpassed amongst European treasuries. Silver was particularly implicated in discourses of the sacred, yet silver was implicated, too, in the violence of Spanish colonialism.  Silver seemed to offer the imperial Spanish what they most desired – a means to substantialize every relation, even with the divine. And it was in Naples above all, emblem and testing ground of Spanish rule in Europe, that silver was beaten into splendid submission. Scholarship has made much of colonialism and its relationship with culture outside of Europe. But what of colonialism within Europe? Silver offers an opening.

 

 

Forthcoming Issue 4: Touch me, touch me not: senses, faith and performativity in early modernity

We are delighted to announce the publication later this month of Issue 4 of the Open Arts Journal. Download the flyer here.

Touch me, touch me not:

senses, faith and performativity in early modernity

 

Issue 4, Winter 2014–5

Edited by Erin E. Benay and Lisa M. Rafanelli

 

This fourth issue of the Open Arts Journal brings together an exciting collection of essays that investigate the collaborative roles of the senses in the genesis and experience of renaissance and baroque art.  Examining, in particular, the ways in which the senses were evoked in the realm of the sacred, where questions of the validity of sensory experience were particularly contentious and fluid, the contributors seek to problematise the neoplatonic imperialism of sight and sense hierarchies that traditionally considered touch, along with smell and taste, as base and bodily.  The essays show that instead it was a multiplicity of sensory modalities – touch, sight, hearing and sometimes even taste and smell – that provided access to the divine, and shaped the imaginative, physical and performative experience of works of art. The issue’s project thus brings us closer to achieving the art historian Geraldine Johnson’s eloquent proposal: that by revisioning Michael Baxandall’s famous ‘period eye’, we might, in fact, arrive at a more aptly described, historically specific, period body.

Issue 2: “Pavilions” – Forthcoming Winter 2013

Download the flyer for Issue 2 “Pavilions” (PDF, 325KB)

PAVILIONS | Issue 2, Winter 2013

This second issue of the Open Arts Journal pulls together a number of exploratory texts – some academic, some more creative in style – on the understudied subject of pavilions.

Responding to the question ‘What is a pavilion?’, this issue proposes that the pavilion (as an ornamental garden structure, an exposition venue, or something more conceptual like a curated project or book) should no longer be neglected as a minor or inconsequential form of architecture. Although its origins may be in the modest tents of travellers, the pavilion as a structure has nonetheless been mobilized in strategies of world-making and unmaking, and this issue explores these creative manoeuvres.

The first section, ‘Historical themes and contexts,’ is a collection of mostly essay-length texts by Ihor Junyk, Jane Lomholt, Joel Robinson, Jaimee K. Comstock-Skipp and Karolina Szynalska, taking forward the genealogy of pavilions offered in the editor’s Introduction, ‘Big worlds under little tents’. A series of case studies introduces pavilions in their many forms during the modern period – picturesque garden ornaments, exotic structures that speak of remote times and places, and national exposition buildings at the world’s fairs and other exhibitions. Here, the pavilion is discussed as a monumental object as well as a receptacle for other objects, and a type of architecture that is rarely far away from imperialist or nationalist agendas. Long after it has served its original purpose, it may incite reflection on the decay and ‘afterlife’ of such structures.

In ‘The architecture of display,’ the pavilion is considered as a structure – architectural or otherwise – for framing the world, or putting a piece of the world on display. Texts by Brian Hatton, Flavia Marcello, Jennifer Way, Beccy Kennedy, Wendy Asquith, Jaspar Joseph-Lester and Michael Corris address the way in which pavilions mediate observation and knowledge of the world. This section probes the intriguing dynamic that pavilions set up between the container and the contained, and how they might even be said to deconstruct that dynamic while becoming works of art in their own right (e.g., sculptural objects like Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona pavilion).

The final section, ‘Contemporary projects,’ carries short statements, reviews and photo-essays by Sophie Kazan, Yam Lau, Sarah Bonnemaison, Harriet Harriss, and a longer text by Chris Tucker. They consider a range of sites from privately-funded exposition buildings and the high-budget ‘star’ architecture of the Serpentine Gallery commissions, to more modest works that intervene in public space. These projects raise questions about community outreach, participatory citizenship and direct democracy, and show up the ineffectiveness or emptiness of some of today’s official public art commissions. The issue concludes with a perceptive afterword by Michaela Giebelhausen: a Surrealist-inspired piece that takes a ramble through Paris – the city of universal expositions – and pauses on what remains of its exhibition grounds and public parks.

Launch event video now available

On Monday, 21 Oct 2013, the Open Arts Journal held an event at The Open University in Camden Town, London to mark its launch this summer.

Professor Marsha Meskimmon (Loughborough University), spoke about her article published in Issue 1, ‘The Precarious Ecologies of Cosmopolitanism’.

The presentation was filmed and is available here:

http://www.openartsarchive.org/oaa/content/open-arts-journal-launch-event-1

A panel discussion followed the research seminar, with Professor Berthold Schoene and Dr Ellie Byrne (guest editors of our inaugural issue, both at Manchester Metropolitan University), together with Open Arts Journal editor-in-chief Dr Leon Wainwright (OU Art History), and Q&A.

Film footage for the panel discussion is archived here:

http://www.openartsarchive.org/oaa/content/open-arts-journal-launch-event-0

Launch event, 21 October, London

Readers of the Open Arts Journal are warmly invited to join us to celebrate our recent launch.

On 21 October we welcome Professor Marsha Meskimmon to the Open University’s centre in Camden, London, to speak about her article, included in issue 1 of the Open Arts Journal, ‘The Precarious Ecologies of Cosmopolitanism’. The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion with Associate Editors Berthold Schoene and Ellie Byrne, together with Open Arts Journal editor-in-chief Leon Wainwright, followed by Q&A.

The event is free and all are welcome but we ask that you please reserve in advance and inform us of any cancellation.  Please visit our event site to book your place: https://openartsjournal-launch.eventbrite.com

Venue: 1-11 Hawley Crescent, Camden London NW1 8NP (map). Light refreshments from 6pm.  Formal presentations begin at 6.30pm.

Call for Papers

Submissions to the Open Arts Journal should meet several of the following criteria:

  • Original work, reflecting current concerns and critical issues in the subject area. (Open Arts Journal does not publish previously published material).
  • Valuable introductory work, opening up new areas of research and scholarship.
  • Makes a significant contribution to the global practice and understanding of the history of art, architecture and design, and visual culture and material culture.
  • Troubles the geographical scope and periodisation of the mainstream histories of art, architecture and design.
  • Theoretically innovative, expanding on the basic concepts of the discipline.
  • Shows how art history may interact with other disciplines, such as art practice, curating and museology, arts organising, cultural policy and the public understanding of art.
  • Enables cross-fertilisation between art, architectural and design history, film and media studies, material and visual culture studies and the broader humanities.

We welcome a full paper or a 200-word abstract of your proposed submission to the Editor, Open Arts Journal Arts-open-arts-journal@open.ac.uk