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One Day Sculpture: Call For Papers

ONE DAY SCULPTURE: An International Symposium on Art, Place and Time


Litmus research Initiative is pleased to announce a call for papers for the ONE DAY SCULPTURE symposium taking place from March 26-28, 2009. The convenors welcome abstracts for 20-minute presentation papers.

Operating as a key mode of critical reflection and analysis, the ONE DAY SCULPTURE symposium brings together leading international curators, cultural theorists and historians, participating artists, writers and curators to address the principal ideas and contexts that have informed the development of the series. The symposium will consider the issues underpinning the commissioning and production of temporary place-responsive artworks in the public domain. In particular it will examine:

- The ways in which conventional notions of permanency and monumentality are being challenged;
- How artists are approaching and producing places as unstable, contested sets of relations rather than fixed sites;
- How ephemeral, performative and viral forms of contemporary art are demanding active engagement outside the gallery or museum; and
- What the implications are for emergent curatorial practices in terms of presentation and distribution.

The questions listed below are starting points for the consideration, but alternative considerations of pertinent issues within each topic are welcomed:

- ENGAGEMENT: What are the terms of engagement for art works presented temporarily outside a conventional museum or gallery context? How do we understand engagement to operate for unannounced works and what is at stake for the artist, commissioner and audience? Can we differentiate any longer between participation, collaboration and passive engagement and if so, what are the ethical and aesthetic ramifications of those distinctions?

- PLACE: What do we understand by the terms place, site and context in relation to the imagining, production, presentation and critical interpretation of new art works? How do artworks create and contest place identity? What new forms of critical spatial practice are emerging? What other terminologies beyond site-specific or place-based, might help to define the responsive and productive nature of contemporary art in place?

- UNMONUMENTAL: Can temporary sculptural works have as great an impact on the social imagination as permanent monuments? If so, how do we understand memory to operate? Is the commissioning of temporary artworks simply a symptom of a consumerist event culture and if so, are longer-term durational models of greater significance to our culture?

- CURATING: In light of the performative, multi-faceted, participatory and dispersed nature of persistent forms of contemporary art and the imperatives of cultural tourism, what new forms of curatorial models are emerging? Is there a danger that artists and their work are becoming instrumentalised through the culturally specific and socially remedial imperatives of a curatorial framework? What lessons can be learned from the relationships between short-term (biennial, triennial and scattered-site exhibitions) and longer-term cumulative projects and programmes.

- REFLECTION: How has the role of art writing been transformed by the finite duration and context dependency of place based art? Does art history still function as a key methodological tool in locating the meanings of this work? In what ways might this work expand the breadth of written responses to include both fictive and non-fictive modes of expression? What criteria might we ascribe to identifying successful examples of temporary sculpture?

We invite papers across all academic disciplines to respond to these themes and welcome papers that seek to locate these ideas within art and broader cultural histories and theories.


Papers will be quality assured through peer review. Contributors must be willing to submit their paper for peer review by 30 November 2008 and for the paper to be published subsequent to the symposium online in April 2009.

More information on the symposium, including a list of invited speakers, can be found at


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