Join us at the 33rd Annual Norma U. Lifton Lecture in Art History
Contrapuntal Modernisms between Imperialism and Decolonization: Critical Unlearning and the Slade School of Art
When the Slade School of Fine Art was established in 1871 as a school and as a department of the University College London, it became the first art school in England to admit students regardless of race, gender, or religion, and trained students from throughout the British Empire and around the world.
This lecture explores new geometries and scales of writing global art history through the notion of transversal lines that are used to narrate a global microhistory of the Slade. By using the Slade as a transversal line that connects multiple people and histories from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore, Nigeria, Sudan, Uganda, Britain and beyond, this essay proposes new ways of writing histories of contrapuntal—not multiple—modernisms, as well as understanding art in Britain itself as a product of empire.
As art schools and universities today finally grapple with their increasingly global classrooms, this lecture also reflects upon how artists of the past have responded to the pedagogies that they encountered, and their practices of critical unlearning.
For more information, please contact the Art History, Theory, and Criticism office at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This event will be live captioned by CART. For additional accessibility accommodations please visit saic.edu/access.
Ming Tiampo is Professor of Art History, and co-director of the Centre for Transnational Cultural Analysis at Carleton University. She is interested in transcultural models and histories that provide new structures for understanding and reconfiguring the global. She has published on Japanese modernism, global modernisms, and diaspora. Tiampo’s book Gutai: Decentering Modernism (University of Chicago Press, 2011) received an honorable mention for the Robert Motherwell Book award. In 2013, she was co-curator with Alexandra Munroe of the AICA award-winning Gutai: Splendid Playground at the Guggenheim Museum in NY. Her current book projects include Transversal Modernisms: The Slade School of Fine Art, a study which reimagines transcultural intersections through global microhistory; Intersecting Modernisms, a collaborative sourcebook on global modernisms, and Jin-me Yoon, an Art Canada Institute book on the diasporic Korean-Canadian artist. Tiampo is an associate member at ici Berlin, a member of the Hyundai Tate Research Centre: Transnational Advisory Board, a fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art on the London, Asia project, a founding member of TrACE, the Transnational and Transcultural Arts and Culture Exchange network, and co-lead on its Worlding Public Cultures project.
The Norma U. Lifton Endowed Lectureship has sponsored a quarter century of talks at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago by eminent art historians, including Eleanor Heartney, Linda Nochlin, Whitney Chadwick, Griselda Pollock, Johanna Drucker, Kristine Stiles, Tsongzung Chang, Gerardo Mosquera, Ann Gibson, Jerry Saltz, Anne Higonnet, Roberta Smith, and Hollis Clayson. The fund, administered by SAIC’s Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism, was established in memory of Norma U. Lifton, former visiting lecturer in the department.
Above Image Caption: Hussein Shariffe, Tigers are Better Looking (film still), 1979