Call for papers

Call for papers - Les nationalismes dans l'art contemporain latino-américain

11. März 12:00

Call for participation

Nationalisms in Latin American contemporary art

Meeting - Debate

Sometimes explicitly justified, very often accepted, the nationalisms in the Latin-American art seem for many people a "natural" (even a necessary) form of the local artistic expression. This condescension towards a region considered peripheral appears all the more "acceptable" as the forms of these nationalisms are often very complex, even contradictory, ranging from the picturesque trait to the resistance to the hegemonic cultural ambitions of the United States. If a certain number of artistic productions question (often with humorous traits) these various nationalisms, it is much rarer that they are studied and analysed. This meeting aims to lay some foundations that allow us to begin this study and analysis, because the theme of nationalism in the art of Latin America, which appears very early in all the countries in the region, raises very specific questions.

Thus, unlike what happens most often in Europe, among artists as in all societies of Latin America, nationalism is found as well in the sympathizers of left as in those of right. In the same way, these nationalisms constitute, paradoxically, a common characteristic and a unifying element of the art of the subcontinent. Nevertheless, it would be very adventurous to assert, on the one hand, that in the art field, these questions go beyond political divisions and to forget, on the other hand, that these same nationalisms were, as all nationalisms, a populist instrument used by the existing political powers against their close neighbours. How can we, then, analyse these convergences and oppositions and, above all, how do they show in the visual creations?

The studied period begins in the 1960s, when the centre of gravity of the art moves from Europe to the United States, and thereby pose new questions. While these nationalisms (especially for the left) feed on anti-North-Americanism, part of the artistic scene thinks that only new forms of creation are able to reflect the cultural reality of Latin America. How do artworks integrate these new aesthetic expressions now born in the United States without conforming to the hegemonic ideology that, very often and in a non-explicit way, accompanies them?

Conversely, other artists turn to local popular traditions to meet the profound and "pure" expression of "the national spirit" and they find faced with another debate, which involuntarily takes on a social dimension: even more than in the European context [P. Bourdieu], art is used by the dominant groups in Latin America as a sign of class recognition, a class to which most of these artists belongs (including a group closely linked to popular social movements like Mexican muralists). How do artworks arrive to assimilate those forms of representation despised by the social class to which their authors belong? Is it simply an appropriation with the aim of building a "national expression" label which can ensure artists a place in the international context of art, or is it a genuine recognition of a "popular culture"?

Forms of participation

The question of nationalisms in Latin American art is therefore very complex and many other issues can find a place in this meeting. Similarly, if our investigation focuses on the visual arts from the 1960s, other artistic forms as well as other periods could provide elements of comparison to deepen our reflection. Or, in the case of artworks, which are inherently polysemic, it would be particularly necessary to address the issue of the context in which they were produced and presented. Two forms of participation are therefore encouraged:

- Communications based on a theme proposed by the speaker, with a presentation of 20 to 30 minutes, followed by a 15 to 30 minutes discussion.

- Roundtable participations, for which, from one of the questions we have just proposed, each speaker makes a short presentation of 15 minutes followed by a discussion of 45 minutes.


Spanish, Portuguese or, failing that, English

      (before the meetings we will ask all the selected participants to send us a summary in English to send it to the other speakers).


      Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte (German Center for Art History, DFK Paris)

      45, rue des Petits-Champs, 75001 Paris, FRANCE

Calendar :

      Meeting-Debate: 23 and 24 September 2019

      Submission of proposals: until March 31, 2019

Contact :

                Laura KARP LUGO


Institut für Kunstgeschichte

LMU München

Zentnerstraße 31             

                Julio VELASCO


Centre Marc Bloch

Friedrichstraße 191

10117 Berlin

Bibliographic references :

- Beatriz González, 1965-2017 (2017), exposition, Bordeaux, CAPC-Musée d'art contemporain, 23 novembre 2017-25 février 2018, Madrid, Museo nacional Centro de arte Reina Sofía, 22 mars-2 septembre 2018, Berlin, KW Institute for contemporary art, 13 octobre-16 décembre 2018, Bordeaux, Madrid, Berlin, CAPC-Musée d'art contemporain ; Département des activités éditoriales du MNCARS ; KW institute for contemporary art.

- Artudo, Patricia M. et al. (2006), Xul Solar : visiones y revelaciones, Malba, Colección Costantini, Buenos Aires, del 17 de junio al 15 de agosto de 2005, São Paulo, Pinacoteca.

- Bourdieu, Pierre (1979), La Distinction. Critique sociale du jugement, Paris, Éd. de Minuit.

- Calo, C. ; Canava, M. ; Kourim, S. (1984), Le Muralisme mexicain - histoire d'un peuple [Multimédia multisupport], France : CDDP d'Indre et Loire.

- Costa, Laura Malosetti ; Cárcova, Ernesto de la [et al.] (2008) Cuadros de viaje : artistas argentinos en Europa y Estados Unidos, 1880-1910, Buenos Aires : Fondo de Cultura Económica, cop.

- Guilbaut, Serge (1988), Comment New York vola l'idée d'art moderne, Nîmes, J. Chambon.

- Newman, Barnett B (1948), The Sublime is Now, in The Tiger’s Eye, n° 6, 15 déc. 1948, p. 51-53.

- Pedrosa, Mário (1981), Dos murais de Portinari aos espaços de Brasília, Sao Paulo, organização Aracy A. Amaral.

- Rama, Ángel (2008), Transculturación narrativa en América Latina, Buenos Aires, Ediciones El Adariego.

- Rosenberg, Harold (1952), The American Action Painting, in Art News, vol. 51, 8 déc. 1952.

- Traba, Marta (1992), Botero, in Art d'Amérique latine : 1911-1968, exposition, Paris, 12 novembre 1992-11 janvier 1993, Musée national d'art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou ; organisée avec la collab. du Museum of Modern Art de New York, Paris : Centre Georges Pompidou.

- Treuiller-Schlachter, Xavier (2006), David Alfaro Siqueiros : muralisme mexicain et politique, Paris ; Budapest ; Kinshasa, L'Harmattan.

Kontakt :

Julio Velasco
juliovelasco  ( at )

11.03.19 (10:59:03)


© Centre Marc Bloch 2018 - Deutsch-Französisches Forschungszentrum für Sozialwissenschaften, Berlin

© Centre Marc Bloch 2018 - Deutsch-Französisches Forschungszentrum für Sozialwissenschaften, Berlin