CALL FOR PAPERS: Hide and Seek. Absence, Invisibility and Contemporary Art Practices (CFP until 18.02.2018)

CALL FOR PAPERS: Hide and Seek. Absence, Invisibility and Contemporary Art Practices (CFP until 18.02.2018)

Place Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art, Krakow, POLAND
Organizer Faculty of Art The Pedagogical University of Krakow and Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art
More info


15–16 March 2018 (Thursday–Friday) / Hide-and-seek. Absence, Invisibility, and Contemporary Art Practices.

Academic conference

Venue: Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art (Krakow, Poland)
Organisers: Faculty of Art The Pedagogical University of Krakow, Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art

Conference languages: English and Polish

The international conference organised by Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art together with the Faculty of Art at the Pedagogical University of Krakow will address invisibility of contemporary art practices in widely understood public sphere, where the latter concerns both urban and rural space, the Internet, as well as museum and galleries, public collections of contemporary art, art festivals and other events. The organisers wish to investigate those artistic and institutional practices that seek to achieve social efficacy and presence, yet their less conspicuous existence is not considered a failure.

We are interested in those approaches as well as individual and collective efforts that question the omnipresent quest for visibility. This attitude may be manifested in negating the market and the conception of artwork as commodity, or in a dismissal of galleries and museums. Yet, it may also be expressed in the artist’s approach – his or her state of mind – of being authentically exhausted with and distanced towards fame and recognition despite being a successful player in the world of high-budget commissions and festivals of art in public space. We are interested both in the intentionally orchestrated gestures of disappearance (Lee Lozano and Sam Hsieh, Lucim group and Jacek Kryszkowski in Poland), as well as in the “dark matter” of art – this group of countless and anonymous “dogsbodies” of culture.
Furthermore, we would like to consider similar aspects that are present in the sphere of institutions involved in exhibiting art. We are interested in initiatives undertaken in this sphere, as well as attempts to withdraw from it, as exemplified by the recent Biennale de Paris, which presented an alternative to the “cyclical” festivals of art. Another important issue is the presence of works of ephemeral and dematerialised nature in public art collections. In this context, we would like to investigate institutional mechanisms that allow them to include such projects in permanent collections. We wish to highlight the commonly unnoticed work of curators and completely invisible conservation practices.

During our conference we wish to consider whether all those practices are able to provide merely a substitute for a “real”, institutionalised and commodified culture? Or, on the contrary, in the media-dominated world, where everyone is truly visible and Andy Warhol’s 15 minutes of fame is so much more than just a phrase, can efforts to be visible and retain material permanence be seen as largely anachronistic, while the most valuable qualities are anonymity and transience? Or, perhaps, this is merely another game and another strategy to – just like Banksy – enter the artworld through the back door, through the gift shop?

We shall try to answer these questions during two thematic blocs into which the conference will be divided, each introduced by a keynote speaker:
1. Sława Harasymowicz (University for the Creative Arts, Canterbury, Central Saint Martins, London)
2. Małgorzata Bogdańska (Zachęta – National Gallery of Art, Warsaw).
The conference is addressed to scholars working in the fields of visual arts, art history and theory, sociology, philosophy, cultural studies, and others, as well as media scholars, artists, and curators.
We welcome proposals that address one of the two main areas of interest:
1. Art practices / curatorial practices and the question of visibility
2. Institutions and the problem of absence / invisibility of artworks

Selected conference papers will be submitted to the academic journal “Annales Universitatis Paedagogicae Cracoviensis. Studia de Arte et Educatione”.

Proposals for 20-minute papers, together with their abstracts (up to 1500 characters in length) and the author’s biographical note, should be submitted by 18 February 2018 to
Notice of acceptance shall be sent by 25 February 2018 via email.
Conference fee for participants is 30 EUR / 120 PLN.