Global Art Histories and Migrating Artists

16 Nov


The fall semester has been under way for some time, and the lack of updates here does not mean there’s been a lack of activity. Quite the contrary, in fact!

The latest issues of the VU-affiliated journal Kunstlicht (with a healthy dose of Critical Studies students and alumni on the editorial board) has the title Globalizing Art Histories: Politics and Paradoxes. On a somewhat related note, Critical Studies student Esmée Schoutens has teamed up with two peers from the VU and the University of Leiden for a presentation at a conference in Cambridge titled Migrants: Migrants: Art, Artists, Materials and Ideas Crossing Borders.

Their presentation is on Positioning migration in the art collection and exhibitions of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. It analyses the museum’s collection database to determine the percentage of artists from “underrepresented” (non-Western) countries in the collection, and the percentage of artists within that group who have migrated to the West—raising the question whether such migration is almost a precondition for having work purchased.



Milo Rau Review

19 Apr


This semester, Sven Lütticken is teaching his art criticism class. The VU Art & Culture blog has published a text written by Critical Studies student Tim Renders in the context of this seminar; it’s a review of the exhibition of Milo Rau’s Congo Tribunal project at Stroom in The Hague.


19 Apr


On April 11, VAMA/Critical Studies alumnus Joana Ozorio de Almeida Meroz was awarded a PhD for her dissertation Transnational Material Politics: Constructions of Dutch Design, 1970-2012. Congratulations!

Joana’s dissertation “traces how the idea of Dutch design has been socially and materially constructed at the intersection of nationalizing imperatives and transnational networks. To render the national and transnational, social and material actors that have participated in the construction of Dutch design both visible and traceable, this dissertation’s scope of analysis is limited to Dutch international cultural policy between 1970 and 2012. Taking place at the crossroads of national and transnational dynamics, material artefacts and human practices, Dutch international cultural policy provides a clearly delineated empirical realm in which to examine the construction of Dutch design.”

Joana is now teaching in our department, so the saga continues!


Students’ Stories: Lexie Davis

19 Apr

The blog of our Art & Culture department features a series of reports by students in our various programmes. Last month, Critical Studies in Art and Culture student Lexie Davis (hailing from the US) reported on her experiences.

New Books by Faculty Members

9 Mar

In addition to teaching their butts off, VU University/Critical Studies in Art and Culture staff members do manage to publish substantial new work. Two new books showcase different strands of the in-depth research being done in our department.


Ivo Blom‘s new book Reframing Luchino Visconti: Film and Art gives new and unique insights into the roots of the visual vocabulary of one of Italy’s most reputed film authors. It meticulously researches Visconti’s appropriation of European art in his set and costume design, from pictorial citations and the archaeology of the set to the use of portraits and pictorial references in costume design. Yet it also investigates Visconti’s cinematography in combination with his mise-en-scène in terms of staging, framing, mobile framing, and mirroring. Here not only aesthetic conventions from art but also those from silent and sound cinema have been clearly appropriated by Visconti and his crew.


Linde Egbert‘s Chosen Legacies: Heritage in Regional Identity assesses the role of heritage in the construction of regional identities in Western Europe. It contains case studies on early medieval heritage in Alsace and Euregio-Meuse Rhine, industrial heritage in the German Ruhr area and competing memories in the Arnhem-Nijmegen region in the Netherlands. It presents new insights into the process of heritage production on a regional level in relationship to processes of identity construction. The theoretical analysis of “heritage” and “regional identity” is innovative as these concepts were hardly analysed in relation to each other before. This book also offers insights into policy, tourism, spatial development and regional development to policymakers, politicians, designers and professionals in the heritage and tourism industries.


March 16: Lecture by Fabio Gygi

9 Mar