Migration, understood as the movement of people and cultures, gives impetus to globalisation and the transculturation processes that the interaction between people and cultures entails. This book addresses migration as a profoundly transforming force that has remodelled artistic and art institutional practices across the world. It explores contemporary art's critical engagement with migration and globalisation as a key source for improving our understanding of how these processes transform identities, cultures, institutions and geopolitics. The book also explores three interwoven issues of enduring interest: identity and belonging, institutional visibility and recognition of migrant artists, and the interrelations between aesthetics and politics, and its representations of forced migration. Transculturality indicates a certain quality (of an idea, an object, a self-perception or way of living) which joins a variety of elements indistinguishable as separate sources. The topic of migration is permeated not only with political but also with ethical urgencies. The most telling sign of how profoundly the mobility turn has affected the visual arts is perhaps the spread of the term global art in the discourses on art, where it is often used as a synonym for internationally circulating contemporary art. The book examines interventions by three artists who take a critical de- and postcolonial approach to the institutional structures and spaces of Western museums. The book also looks at the politics of representation, and particularly the question of how aesthetics, politics and ethics can be triangulated and balanced when artists seek to make visible the conditions of irregular migration.
) exhibition of virtuosity and economy of means; (b) affirmation of success; (c) staking a claim to artistic merit; (d) the exploration of the private realm’.76 In relation to Kernoff’s 1929 self-portrait, we can certainly read it as staking a claim to artistic merit and as an affirmation of his achievements to date. Writing on migrant artists in Chicago in the period 1910–50, Sarah Kelly Oehler further commented that ‘portraiture was one means by which migrant artists could position themselves within their new community. They could use the genre to define themselves as they
between inside and outside?’ 1 If finding the ‘bridge’, which allows the artist ‘to say more than nature’ with fewer means, 2 involves the subtlest feedback between formal study, eye–hand coordination and kinaesthetic memory and disposition, how is a migrant artist going to find that ‘bridge’: hollowed out, the somatic imprint of earlier landscapes dismissed as foreign and the character of the outer landscape utterly unfamiliar, is the figure of the ‘bridge’ even
Art and migration: revisioning the borders of community is a collective response to current and historic constructs of migration as disruptive of national heritage. This interplay of academic essays and art professionals’ interviews investigates how the visual arts – especially by or about migrants – create points of encounter between individuals, places, and objects. Migration has increasingly taken centre stage in contemporary art, as artists claim migration as a paradigm of artistic creation. The myriad trajectories of transnational artworks and artists’ careers outlined in the volume are reflected in the density and dynamism of fairs and biennales, itinerant museum exhibitions and shifting art centres. It analyses the vested political interests of migration terminology such as the synonymous use of ‘refugees’ and ‘asylum seekers’ or the politically constructed use of ‘diaspora’. Political and cultural narratives frame globalisation as a recent shift that reverses centuries of cultural homogeneity. Art historians and migration scholars are engaged in revisioning these narratives, with terms and methodologies shared by both fields. Both disciplines are elaborating an histoire croisée of the circulation of art that denounces the structural power of constructed borders and cultural gatekeeping, and this volume reappraises the historic formation of national identities and aesthetics heritage as constructed under transnational visual influences. This resonates with migrant artists’ own demands for self-determination in a display space that too often favours canonicity over hybridity. Centring migration – often silenced by normative archives or by nationalist attribution practices – is part of the workload of revisioning art history and decolonising museums.
late 1960s New York, proving the fundamental role that migrant artists had for the consolidation of the city as an experimental art centre. In addition, these artists’ production, with its in-between cultural belonging, puts into question canonical narratives of centre-periphery artistic influence, demonstrating a complex network of cultural exchange along the hemisphere. The present chapter explores the formation and consolidation of a new artistic scene of Latin American artists who migrated to New York during the late 1960s and early 1970s, focusing on the role
, interdisciplinary, using a variety of media – how important is it to you that your work challenges limits and borders in art history? David Antonio Cruz: There is so much beauty about things that don’t quite fit, that don’t quite work, about giving new purpose to broken pieces. There was a time when I ran away from labels – the label of the migrant artist, for example. These markers annoyed me. What does it mean to be second generation? On top of that, what does it mean to be queer? What does that look like? I am a continuous. But now I feel that I have a responsibility for
identifiable context or conversation and on this account readily recruited to new contexts and applications. In my experience, the migrant artist's encounters are similarly promiscuous. It would be difficult to stratify the different genres in which I have played: radio art did not yield to typographical engravings in public places; writing and directing performance works in and outside the theatre did not lay the foundations of a later discovery of my true metier in cross-cultural urban design. A critic once described my interests as polyhedral, referring to the coexistence
the 1960s … Editors: Just as you had migrant artists, travelling dancers, and transnational identities for the first exhibition – you confront Femme en Extase with Isadora Duncan, who was both French and American, and Michio Ito who was a Japanese immigrant to the US … Robyn Asleson: … and Ruth St Denis who travelled to India. Again and again – at both micro and macro levels, these artists are about movement. They went looking for inspiration beyond their borders, and had to be incredibly mobile to keep feeding their creativity with fresh influences
), resulting in the development of a particular ‘migratory aesthetics’ (Durrant and Lord, 2007 ) and the emergence of the ‘migrant image’ in contemporary art practice, serving as a critical, even resistant visual operator in times of global crisis (Demos, 2013a ). These transformations make it necessary to study art in relation to ‘The Migrant’s Time’ and rethink art history from the perspective of transnational migration and diaspora studies (Mathur, 2011 ). To explore the production of diasporic Chineseness in the art creation of Chinese Australian migrant artists, I
insists, is a positive development. At intervals he has returned to his native Italy – born in Melbourne, he confronted his parents’ experience when he travelled to where they had come from. Different from the colonial avatars and the Australian migrant artists of my generation, his view of my story renders it curiously nebulous – as if the ‘toxic relationship’, to adapt Marcia Langton's phrase for the non-relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, which locks the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ country in a mutual basilisk stare could be shattered simply by