NORDIK – The Nordic Association for Art Historians welcomes you to the 19 sessions scheduled for the 12th Triennial conference, Copenhagen, 25-27 October 2018 entitled No title.
We have chosen no title to be the heading of the upcoming conference as a means to broaden its thematic boundaries and allow sessions on any subject in relation to the study of art history in general. The title of the conference bears legacy to Modernism by rejecting the use of a title in light of a contemporary art culture which commends it. In Modernism, the use of no title was to promote visions of growth and progress within society. Historically, there has always been criticism of this progress and the future epitomized by Modernism. Titles such as no title or untitled evoke the condition of an artwork in Modernity. Prior to Modernism the use of titles within art was not common, but as works became increasingly more portable, titles became mandatory out of convenience. Leaving a work untitled is therefore a statement which questions and criticizes this premise. Yet still, a work in Modernism could not be left entirely without a name and so had to announce its ‘untitledness’ by explicitly referring to it as either no title or untitled, thereby calling attention to that which is missing.
In choosing the title no title for our conference we invite considerations on the premises of art historical discourse globally, and the themes conventional art history conferences usually encompass, and why. Art history and its institutions continue to evolve with today’s ever-changing social, technological and political climate and many have therefore taken to digitalization, and new means of public management and education to keep up. Although art history and the humanities suffer from political and economic pressure, museums are more popular than ever, and art history continues to be a sought-after area of study.
The future of art history is uncertain but we do not intend no title to mean no future. We mean instead for it to act as a new space wherein we can consider, discuss and imagine the future of art and art history in times of crisis.
The conference is generously supported by the A.P. Møller and Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller's Foundation for General Purposes.