5th Swiss Congress for Art History

02 plan d 266 ref kleiner 1920
Otto Weber, Augenklinik des Kantons Zürich (seit 1954 Standort des Kunsthistorischen Instituts), Fassadenriss, 1891. Staatsarchiv des Kantons Zürich
  • Date

    22/06/2022 24/06/2022
  • Location

    University of Zurich, Zürich, CH

The most important goal of the congress is to determine the current state of the discipline: where does art history stand in the year 2022, not only in Switzerland but also internationally? And what are its perspectives for the future? To this end, we have put together a three day program consisting of a total of eleven sessions and two round table discussions. With over 100 speakers and session leaders, the congress reflects the breadth and diversity of art historical approaches and interests. Two topics will be our particular focus in 2022: the first of these is the Junior Researchers’ Forum, where doctoral students will have the chance to present their research in the new format of a “science slam”. A second focus is the guest country Japan, for which a dedicated session has been organised.

David Shongo, artist and composer from Lubumbashi, will do a presentation on Thursday 23 June 2022 on 'Congo, Algorithmic Contradiction' in the context of the congress' session IV Colonial Photographs as Cultural Heritage: Visibility, Availability, Responsibility.

The impact of European museum collections on the evaluation of cultural objects determines current debates on provenance and restitution. Since European archives house large parts of still extant colonial images, provenance research must also take into consideration photographs from formerly colonized regions. How do we critically evaluate the colonial perspective of European photo collections? What impact does the increasing digital availability of photographs and collections have on the interpretation of the images and the people depicted? May the photographs, which were often taken in traumatic and violent circumstances, be displayed in public? Must these «photographs-against-will» (Susanne Regener) remain institutionally protected in archives and museums? Panelists will reflect on the political and historical responsibility in dealing with colonial photo collections and explore considerations on the Deutungshoheit of photographs, i.e. the right to show and write about them.