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Walking the line – Art of border zones in times of crisis

Speakers and Discussants

Christiane Brosius (Heidelberg University)

Christiane Brosius is Professor and holds the Chair of Visual and Media Anthropology at the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS). Her academic background in Cultural and Social Anthropology, Art History and Art Education (Frankfurt/Oder, Oxford and SOAS/London) is strongly related to Media and Visual Cultures in South Asia (mainly India and Nepal). She has researched on processes of social spatialisation in New Delhi since 2000 and currently works on two projects related to urban spaces: 1) the emergence of new art practices and events in New Delhi and Kathmandu, and 2) notions of autonomy and risk for single women in urban India. She is coordinator of the projects “Creating the ‘New’ Asian Woman”, “Rethinking Art”, and “Aging in a transcultural perspective”. Her publications include „Empowering Visions, A Study on Videos and thePolitics of Cultural Nationalism in India“, which explores theiconography, rhetoric and production context of video propaganda of northIndian Hindu Right organisations between the 1980s and the 1990s, and„India's Middle Class. New Forms of Urban Leisure, Consumption and Prosperity“. She co- founded Tasveer Ghar/House of Pictures: A Digital Network of South Asian Popular Visual Culture, which has expanded towards other Asian and Middle Eastern contexts and fostered a pilot project for the Digital Humanities initiative under the Heidelberg Research Area.

Cathrine Bublatzky (Heidelberg University)

Cathrine Bublatzky is Assistant Professor at the Chair of Visual and Media Anthropology, Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS). Her research and teaching interests focus on theories and methods in Visual and Media Anthropology, Art Anthropology, Popular Culture, and Urban Studies with a regional focus on South Asia. Her seminars on BA and MA level in Transcultural Studies, Anthropology and South Asian Studies are often research-based to support students to gain experiences and insights in applied anthropology. She has a strong interest in Digital Humanities and its role for Visual Anthropology, and has conceptualised together with Christiane Brosius and in cooperation with the Heidelberg Research Architecture (HCTS) a new research-based teaching format with digital annotation and presentation platforms. From 2013 to 2015, she received together with Christiane Brosius a fund from “Welcome to Research” programme at Heidelberg University for the development of this teaching format. Cathrine Bublatzky is Co-Coodinator of the networking project "Net1 Arts and the Transcultural" at Heidelberg University. In 2014, she finalized her dissertation project on contemporary art in India, entitled „Along the ‘Indian Highway’: An Ethnography of an International Travelling exhibition.“

Isabel Ching (Heidelberg University)

Isabel Ching s a Ph.D. candidate at the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context”, University of Heidelberg. Her doctoral research project (Global Art History) investigates conceptualisms in Myanmar, The Philippines and Singapore from the 1960s to 1990s, including their relationship to discourse formations and socio-political dynamics during the Cold War. She holds a Masters of Arts (Art History & Theory, Merit Award) from the University of Sydney, Australia, and was adjunct lecturer for the Masters of Asian Art Histories programme at Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore. Currently, she is the project coordinator for the Cluster's interdisciplinary research network Net1 Arts and the Transcultural: Concepts, Histories and Practices. She has also curated exhibitions of artists from China, Hong Kong, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Ching is co-founder of the refereed journal Southeast of Now: Directions in Contemporary and Modern Art

Iftikhar Dadi (Cornell University)

Iftikhar Dadi is Associate Professor at Cornell University in the Department of History of Art. He also served as Chair of the Department of Art (2010-14). Publications include the book Modernism and the Art of Muslim South Asia (University of North Carolina Press 2010), and essays in numerous journals and edited volumes. He is Contributing Editor for Bio-Scope: South Asian Screen Studies journal, and is currently working on a book on Urdu cinema. His recent co-curated exhibition (with Hammad Nasar) was Lines of Control: Partition as a Productive Space (Herbert F Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell 2012, and Nasher Museum of Art at Duke 2013). As an artist he collaborates with Elizabeth Dadi, they have shown widely internationally. Exhibitions include the 24th São Paulo Biennial, Brazil; the Third Asia-Pacific Triennial, Australia; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Queens Museum of Art, New York; and Art Gallery of Windsor, Canada.

Eckhart Gillen (independent curator and art writer)

Eckhart Gillen is an art historian and curator. Exhibitions on art in the 20th century that he has curated include Deutschlandbilder – Kunst aus einem geteilten Land, Berliner Festspiele in the Martin-Gropius-Bau (1997, English-language catalog: "German Art from Beckmann to Richter", Yale University Press); Art of Two Germanys: Cold War Cultures in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nürnberg and Deutsches Historisches Museum Berlin (2009/2010, with Stephanie Barron), the Retrospective R.B.Kitaj – Obsessionen/Obsessions in the Jewish Museum/Jüdischen Museum Berlin and in the Hamburger Kunsthalle (2012/13), and last not least Aktion, Partizipation, Performance: Beuys, Brock, Vostell 1958-1977, ZKM Karlsruhe (2014, with Peter Weibel). He has published on German, Russian and American Art of the 20th century, such as Feindliche Brüder? Der Kalte Krieg und die deutsche Kunst 1945-1990, Berlin (2009). He is also the recipient of many awards, including “einheitspreis - Bürgerpreis zur deutschen Einheit” in 2003, the AICA-USA award for the best thematic museums show in 2009, and the Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge-award of the Stiftung Preußische Seehandlung in 2011 for unconventional curatorial practice. He is guest lecturer for art history at the Filmuniversität Potsdam Konrad Wolf and at the University of Cologne.

Monica Juneja (Heidelberg University)

Monica Juneja holds the Chair of Global Art History at the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context”, University of Heidelberg. She has been Professor at the University of Delhi, held visiting professorial positions at the Universities of Hannover, Vienna, the Emory University, Atlanta and the University of Zurich. She is presently Resident Scholar at the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles. Monica Juneja’s research and writing focus on transculturality and visual representation, disciplinary practices in the art history of Western Europe and South Asia, gender and political iconography, Christianisation and religious identities in early modern South Asia. Most recent publications include Global Art History and the “Burden of Representation“ in Hans Belting et al (eds), Global Studies. Mapping Contemporary Art and Culture (2011); Universalität in der Kunstgeschichte? Theme Issue Kritische Berichte (2012, with Matthias Bruhn and Elke A. Werner); Contextualizing Choices: Islamicate Elements in European Arts, Theme Issue The Medieval History Journal (2012, with Vera Beyer and Isabelle Dolezalek); Disaster as Image. Iconographies and Media Strategies across Asia and Europe (2014, edited with Gerrit Jasper Schenk). Her book in preparation is entitled Can Art History be made Global? A Discipline in Transition, which is based on the Heinrich Wölfflin Lectures she recently delivered at the University of Zurich (Feb-May 2014). 

Raminder Kaur Khalon (University of Sussex)

Raminder Kaur is professor of Anthropology and Cultural Studies in the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex. Her research interests include (i) public culture, aesthetics, censorship, history and politics in South Asia; (ii) diaspora, race/ethnicity, the creative arts and heritage; and (iii) public representations of, and the socio-political and environmental implications of nuclear developments. She is the author of Atomic Mumbai: Living with the Radiance of a Thousand Suns (2012) and Performative Politics and the Cultures of Hinduism (2003/5). She is also co-author of Diaspora and Hybridity (1999), and co-editor of the ASA volume, Arts and Aesthetics in a Globalising World (2014), Censorship in South Asia: Cultural Regulation from Sedition to Seduction (2009), Bollyworld: Popular Indian Cinema through a Transnational Lens (2005) and Travel Worlds: Journeys in Contemporary Cultural Politics (1999). She has also  produced several scripts for theatre productions including Draupadi’s RobesBullets through the Golden StreamFuturesSpirit of the Age, and Pregnant Pauses. Her most recent play, Enig-mas, was based on the Bengali poet, Nazrul's work. She wrote Fair's (Not) Fair! when working on Ben Rogaly's AHRC Fellowship, Places for All? (, which was based on about 100 oral history transcripts collated in Peterborough.

Henry Keazor (Heidelberg University)

Photo: Oliver Dietze

After completing his studies of Art History, German language and literature, Musicology and Philosophy at the Heidelberg University and the Sorbonne in Paris, Henry Keazor received a PhD for his research on the works of the baroque painter Nicolas Poussin in 1996. As a scholar and scientific assistant, he worked for the Art Historical Institute in Florence (Italy) from 1996 until 1999 and the Art Historical Institute at the Goethe University in Frankfurt (Main) from 1999 until 2005. Keazor habilitated in Frankfurt on the works of the baroque painter family Carracci from Bologna. In 2006 Keazor became a Heisenberg-scholar of the German Research Foundation (DFG), before he accepted the appeal for the Chair of Art History at the Saarland University in 2008. He is the author of Nicolas Poussin, 1594-1665 (2007) and Video thrills the radio star: Musikvideos: Geschichte, Themen, Analysen (2007). On September 1st 2012, Keazor was appointed to the professorship for Modern and Contemporary Art at the Institute for European Art History at the Heidelberg University. Recent publications for which he is both editor and author include Täuschend echt! Eine Geschichte der Kunstfälschung (2015) and Hitchcock und die Künste (2013).

Astrid S. Klein (artist and curator)

Working from her home base in Stuttgart/Germany, Astrid S. Klein moves between real and imaginary places in the Global North and South. She takes a transdisciplinary approach in her work, that encompasses research, film, text, sound, installation, performative intervention and public events. She is the receipient of numerous grants and presents her work internationally. Klein’s artistic practice involves ‚extensive’ projects, in which she welcomes the involvement of other cultural producers. Since 2005, she has been pursuing long-term research in dialogical formats with artists in sub-Saharan Africa, the European African diasporas and Europe. In the process of her own ‚creolization’, Klein questions a dialogical production of knowledge on the contemporary relationship between South and North and the complex, violent past and present. The need for self-determination, artistic spaces of agency and shared moments of collectivity across boundaries is central to her work. Recent projects include curating and producing (2013/14), which is "an online platform, a critical collection and poetic space of agency, that arose through artistic research conducted in Cameroon and Germany and will be continued transnationally in future, as well in analog as in digital space." Klein’s solo exhibition "DISPARAÎTRE DANS LA NATURE - to decamp, to desert, to evaporate - das Weite suchen, verduften" will take place at the Heidelberger Kunstverein from 10.07.2015- 06.09.2015.

Franziska Koch (Heidelberg University)

Franziska Koch is assistant professor to the Chair of Global Art History at the Cluster of Excellence Asia and Europe in a global context of Heidelberg University and a core member of its research network Arts and the Transcultural (Net 1). Her research centers on modern and contemporary Asian art (mainly China and Korea) and on exhibitions as mediators of transcultural artistic and curatorial practices. Together with Dr. Birgit Hopfener et al. she edited Negotiating difference. Contemporary Chinese art in the global context (VDG Weimar, 2012). As a member of the DFG-Research Group Medien der Kollektiven Intelligenz (2010‒2013) she organized the symposium Re-thinking artistic knowledge production: distributed creativity – global media cultures (Heidelberg, May 2013) together with Dr. Samantha Schramm. She conceived the international symposium (In)direct speech. “Chineseness” in contemporary art discourse and practice (Lisbon, May 2015) together with Dr. Rui Oliveira Lopes and launched The international research network for modern and contemporary Chinese art. Her dissertation will be published as Die “chinesische Avantgarde” und das Dispositiv der Ausstellung. Konstruktionen chinesischer Gegenwartskunst im Spannungsfeld der Globalisierung (Transcript, end of 2015).

Karin Polit (Heidelberg University)

Karin Polit is a Margarete von Wrangell Fellow at the South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg. During the last thirteen years, she  has conducted more than 46 months of fieldwork in Northern India, mostly in the state of Uttarakhand, New Delhi and recently in Jammu and Kashmir. Her research focuses on the relationship between stigma, health and conflict, as well as on processes of gender, age and marginalization. Her current research project revolves around the topic of youth, violence, and religion in the Jammu and Kaschmir region.  She is the author of two monographs: Women of Honour (2013) and When Gods Set Out to Wander (2015).

Patricia Spyer (Leiden University)

Patricia Spyer is the Chair of Cultural Anthropology of Contemporary Indonesia at Leiden University. She was Global Distinguished Professor at New York University’s Center for Religion & Media and Department of Anthropology (2009-12), and a Visiting Fellow at the Humanities Research Centre of the Australian National University in 2014. She is the author of The Memory of Trade: Modernity’s Entanglements on an Eastern Indonesian Island, Duke 2000, editor of Border Fetishisms: Material Objects in Unstable Spaces, Routledge 1998, co-editor of the Handbook of Material Culture, Sage 2013 [2006] and of Images That Move, SAR Press, 2013. She has published, among other topics, on violence, media and visual culture, materiality, and religion. Her current book project Orphaned Landscapes: Violence, Visuality, and the Work of Appearances in Post-Authoritarian Indonesia focuses on the mediations of violence and post-violence in the religiously inflected conflict in the Moluccas, Indonesia.

Oliver Sukrow (Heidelberg University)

Oliver Sukrow, M.A., studied Art History and Baltic Studies in Greifswald, Salzburg and Colchester (UK) 2005-11. He wrote his master-thesis on "Lea Grundig as president of the Association of Visual Artists in the GDR 1964-70" (published by Peter Lang in 2011) and worked as co-curator for the exhibition "Farewell to Icarus. Pictorial Worlds in the GDR - re-viewed" at Neues Museum Weimar (2011-12). Since 2012 he is a PhD-candidate at the Institute for European Art History at the Univ. of Heidelberg, researching on utopia in the visual arts and architecture of the GDR 1945-71. Currently, he holds a Baden-Württemberg-fellowship for the Central Institute for Art History, Munich (2014-16). His main research interests are art and architecture in the GDR, "Lebensreform" and architecture, questions of meaning in architectural-theory. Latest publication: "Visual Art and Architecture in the GDR. State of discussion and research tendencies - an actualization", in: Kunstchronik, 4.2015, pp. 178-192 (together with Tobias Zervosen)

Chitra Venkataramani (John Hopkins University)

Chitra Venkataramani completed her PhD in anthropology from John Hopkins University and her work is located at the intersection of visual culture, urban studies, architecture and eco-futurism. Her dissertation research looks at the work of maps in contemporary ecological and spatial politics in the context of recent ecological reforms initiated by the Indian Government.

Friederike Wappler (Ruhr-University of Bochum)

Friederike Wappler is Academic Head of the Art Collections of the Ruhr-University of Bochum and lecturer at the Department of Art History, specializing in modern and contemporary art, curational theory and practice. She studied fine arts (Kunstakademie Düsseldorf/Münster), German Studies and Art History at Bielefeld, Münster, Bochum and New York; doctorate in Art History at the Ruhr-University Bochum 1998. She is author and editor of countless publications, especially on the art of the 20th and 21st century. She has curated many exhibitions, including: “Bruce Nauman: Mental Exercises”, “Looking for Mushrooms: Beat Poets, Hippies, Funk, Minimal Art. San Franscisco 1955-1968” (with B. Engelbach, H. Winkler), “Mischa Kuball: NEW POTT”, “Franz Erhard Walther: Perpetuum mobile’, “Yesterday the City of Tomorrow“ (with Urbane Künste Ruhr and the RuhrKunstMuseen). Recent Publication: Rendezvous mit dem Realen. Die Spur des Traumas in den Künsten, ed. with Aleida Assmann, Karolina Jeftic, Bielefeld: Transcript 2014.