Re-envisioning the Contemporary Art Canon: Perspectives in a Global World seeks to dissect and interrogate the nature of the present-day art field, which has experienced dramatic shifts in the past 50 years.
In discussions of the canon of art history, the notion of 'inclusiveness', both at the level of rhetoric and as a desired practice is on the rise and gradually replacing talk of 'exclusion', which dominated critiques of the canon up until two decades ago. The art field has dramatically, if insufficiently, changed in the half-century since the first protests and critiques of the exclusion of 'others' from the art canon.
With increased globalization and shifting geopolitics, the art field is expanding beyond its Euro-American focus, as is particularly evident in the large-scale international biennales now held all over the globe. Are canons and counter-canons still relevant? Can they be re-envisioned rather than merely revised? Following an introduction that discusses these issues, thirteen newly commissioned essays present case studies of consecration in the contemporary art field, and three commissioned discussions present diverse positions on issues of the canon and consecration processes today.
This volume will be of interest to instructors and students of contemporary art, art history, and museum and curatorial studies.
This book is part of a series which moves the canon debate of the 1980s forward into a new multidisciplinary and cross-cultural phase by investigating problems of canon formation across the whole humanistic field. Some volumes explore the linguistic, political or anthropological dimensions of canonicity. Others examine the historical canons of individual disciplines. The important contribution to the canon debate is remarkable in examining the actual process of canon formation from three unusual and complementary angles. The first two chapters discuss historical attitudes to canons from antiquity onwards, showing the religious, aesthetic, cultural and political interests which have shaped our modern critical canons. Each of the four succeeding chapters examines an exemplary modern defendant, interpreter, or critic of canons: Ernst Gombrich, Northrop Frye, Frank Kermode, and Edward Said. A final chapter considers the origins and rationale of the contemporary debate, emphasizing the disciplinary and aesthetic problems we must confront if our cultural institutions are to meet the changing needs of the next century.
Every general account of the development of Chinese thought makes mention of Tung Chung-shu (c. 195-105 bce) as one of the pivotal philosophers of the Han. Professor Queen's accomplishment is a meticulous dissection of Tung Chung-shu's major work. The Luxuriant Gems of the Spring and Autumn Annals (Ch'un-ch'iu fan lu) established the first state-sponsored Confucian Canon, and created an ideal of the ruler and his role in government that was central to political discussion for two thousand years. The author has carefully scrutinised this text for authenticity, and has concluded that it was compiled several centuries after Tung's death, but was mostly compiled from Tung's authentic writings. By historicising this important text, Queen allows a new view of Tung's relation to the political and doctrinal discourses of his day, and also addresses the role of scriptures in Confucian spirituality.
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