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36ème Congrès du CIHA - Lyon 2024

Parrainé par le Ministère de la Culture,
le Ministère de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche,
le Ministère de l'Europe et des Affaires étrangères

The Time of the Object: Temporality, Trace, Decay

Julia Alting 1, Raslene 2

University Of Groningen - Amsterdam (Netherlands), 2Independent Artist/researcher - Jakarta (Indonesia)

Sujet en anglais / Topic in english

In art history the question of (historical) time is taken up more widely today as the discipline faces anxieties about its colonial foundations. As linear historical time is complicit with imperial ideologies of ‘progress’, alternative conceptualizations of time and history have been proposed, yet they have not been conceptually elaborated upon, nor have they been connected to new materialist art historical scholarship.

The repurposing of (found) objects and matter in contemporary art practice affords to link personal to socio-political histories, like in the work of Chiharu Shiota and Danh Vo. Exhibitions often follow a linear route or adopt a linear timeline model, yet recent transhistorical curatorial experiments and museums focusing on materiality, like the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and the Museum der Dinge in Berlin disrupt these conventions. A focus on matter and the object thus seems to invite a disruption of linear chronology.

This session aims to follow the lives of art objects' materiality and their challenge to the traditional linear chronology of the discipline. ‘Timeless’ concepts of art negate the complicated trajectories of matter: the materiality of objects is never timeless, but is bound to its own temporality. Matter decays; it changes colour; travels; and leaves traces. This session explores the nonlinear temporalities that a focus on material brings with it.

How can we account for the structures of power intrinsic to historical time? What temporal layer is privileged in contexts of display? Which artistic approaches to archiving can be discerned? What are the temporal trajectories of the material?

This panel proposes a reconsideration of the temporal structures that undergird the discipline of art history, while focusing on the particular histories and complicated temporalities that art objects often carry with them. As structures of exclusion embedded in our disciplines, museums, narratives and universities are widely debated in society today, we deem it important to look at the fundamental temporal logics on which our stories are based, and through which we make sense of continuity, rupture and change.