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Sophie Ernst, HOME - Jamshed Quaters Karachi, Nalini Malani and her mother. Video stills, Bombay, 2007

Net1 Arts and the Transcultural

Arts and the Transcultural: Concepts, Histories and Practices

Koordination: Monica Juneja, Christiane Brosius, Melanie Trede, Franziska Koch, Cathrine Bublatzky

Zusammenfassung

Sophie Ernst, HOME, video installation, Sharjah Biennial, 2009
Photo: Plamen Galabov, courtesy Sharjah Biennial

Sophie Ernst, HOME, video installation, Sharjah Biennial, 2009
Photo: Plamen Galabov, courtesy Sharjah Biennial

The search for a new conceptual vocabulary and research apparatus to study the dynamics of transculturality in the fields of art history, visual culture and media anthropology is a reflexive enterprise which requires synergetic collaboration across regions, time spans and disciplinary boundaries. The network project “Arts and the Transcultural: concepts, histories and practices” offered such a cross-disciplinary research environment of 14 scholars working on subjects which focus on art worlds and practices in a transcultural perspective. Based on collaborative research and publications, joint teaching and research colloquia/symposia at Heidelberg University, the network has strengthened the foundations of ongoing research and provided fresh impulses emanating from the Heidelberg Cluster to practitioners of art history, anthropology and visual culture within and beyond Heidelberg. It had also moved beyond the university to work together with institutions such as the Heidelberger Kunstverein.

Engaging with different cultures and their relationalities requires a critical questioning of the boundaries demarcating units of investigation as they have been handed down in writing on art worlds. Rather than following national, linguistic or ethnocentric demarcations, we aimed to understand boundaries more productively. Following the logic of circulatory practices helped us to raise challenging questions about cultural difference, multiple temporalities and shifting, often paradoxical relationships to locality which artists and other agents negotiate, all of which call for alternative explanatory paradigms.