The World and World-Making in Art

Sir Roland Wilson Building, The Australian National University, Canberra 11-13 August, 2011

This international conference coincides with the Humanities Research Centre’s theme for 2011 on ‘The World and World-Making in the Humanities and the Arts’. It complements two further HRC conferences in 2011 on World Literature and World History.

The conference will explore a number of key issues in art discourses today and also address a central concern of the HRC’s theme in invoking the idea of world-making beyond cultural divides and instead, speaking ‘to a domain of human connectivity’. We seek to explore the significance of connectivities and differences in the field of art: its practices, histories, institutions, inclusions and exclusions, ethical concerns and theoretical and methodological approaches under the overarching theme of ‘the World and World-Making’. Much of the focus of the conference will inevitably be on contemporary transformations resulting in part from globalization and geopolitical changes in our world, including  migrations and transnational movements of people and art as well as new means of human connectivity and cultural exchange, and historical dimensions of the theme of ‘the World and World-Making in Art’.

Key issues that will be addressed include World-Making and the concept of ‘Global Art’: Connectivities and Differences | Cosmopolitanism | Crossing Borders: artists, institutions, exhibitions and audiences | Indigenous world-making | Postcolonialism | Old and new empires | Art and key ‘world’ concerns such as global conflict, the environment, human rights | New technologies, new media and new means of connectivity in art | ‘World’ exhibitions such as Biennales | Art outside the museum/ institutional context | Art markets and art-world systems | Redefinitions that may question ‘nation- or region-centric paradigms of knowledge making’, the creation of new forms of community, and the challenge of moving beyond a EuroAmericentric ‘world view’.

The conference will complement an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery on contemporary Asian portraits (Beyond the Self: Contemporary Portraiture from Asia) and the panel on ‘art and conflict’ will be jointly hosted with the Australian War Memorial.

Key Speakers

Professor Patrick Flores (University of the Philippines)

Professor Howard Morphy (Australian National University)

Professor Marsha Meskimmon (Loughborough University, UK)

Professor Jaynie Anderson (University of Melbourne)

Professor Terry Smith (University of Pittsburgh)

Professor Pat Hoffie (Griffith University)

Dr Charles Merewether (Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore)

Xu Hong (National Art Museum of China)

Lisa Reihana (Contemporary Artist + Tohunga a Toi, Unitec School Design and Vis Arts, New Zealand)

Professor Jill Bennett (University of New South Wales)

Professor John Clark (University of Sydney)

Mella Jaarsma (Artist and co-founder of Cemeti Art House and Indonesia Visual Art Archive, Indonesia)

Dr Anthony Gardner (The Courtauld Institute of Art, London)

Tony Ellwood (Director, Queensland Art Gallery).

To register for the conference please follow the link:

The full program and list of speaker biographies can be viewed at: and

For all further information and enquires see the conference website at the Humanities Research Centre pages for further info:


Caroline Turner, Research School of Humanities and the Arts, ANU

Michelle Antoinette, Research School of Humanities and the Arts, ANU

Zara Stanhope, Research School of Humanities and the Arts, ANU

Jackie Menzies, Head of Asian Art, Art Gallery of NSW