Son of Guffwatch - The Academic's Revenge
May 17 2012
Following on from my occasional series, Guffwatch (highlighting ludicrous descriptions of contemporary art), a reader has suggested a similar series devoted to art historical guff. There's lots it around. He writes:
For example, I was recently told about a conference with the title "Translation: Transformative Shifts in Process and Exchange."
The organisers helpfully suggest that subject-matter for talks should; "include, but are not limited to: In what ways have motifs, artists, and objects crossed boundaries, found meaning, and re-entered their original contexts? What different forms do these relationships take - for example, are they reciprocal, hegemonic, or syncretic in nature? How have "mistranslations," acting not as mistakes but as retakes, affected art production and meaning, and in what ways do these acts disrupt or inform them? How might we explore the place of the diasporic artist? How are art and artists locationally indexed and how are we to approach the importance or rejection of this spatial orientation? In what ways might translation be thought of temporally?"
My main thought after reading this is: who actually cares? Conferences like this are just God's way of telling you your faculty's got too much money.
Brilliant. If you know of any similar examples, please send them in. By the way, in case you're interested in the above, a quick Google reveals that the conference is at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles in October 2012. Full details here.