Minimalism: Location Aspect Moment, 14-15 October 2016
University of Southampton/Winchester School of Art
Confirmed Keynote Addresses:
Dr Renate Wiehager (Head of the Daimler Art Collection, Stuttgart/Berlin)
Professor Keith Potter (Reader in Music, Goldsmiths, University of London)
Professor Redell Olsen (Professor of Poetics, Royal Holloway, University of London) (Keynote Performance Lecture)
When the object comes to itself, abstracting can end, and so can expressiveness. This is one of the thoughts underpinning minimalism in art, but far from the only one, as minimalist sculpture, in particular, began reconfiguring the gallery space, or even the space in which art could happen. The minimalist impulse is to drive creativity into forms so simple, or more accurately, so formal they had to reflect upon themselves while reflecting the viewer in a specular frenzy under cover of nothing happening. The paradoxes of minimalism suggest an equal possibility of de-formation, of formless process. For some time, critics were not happy, understandably, given the rejection of reflection that the radically simplified objects presented. But a consensus has emerged, one that focuses on, and repetitively/compulsively reproduces, a unifying vision of American key artists (Judd, Morris, Flavin, Andre…) of the 1960s. Likewise, a seamless tie binds this art with American minimalist music (Glass, Reich, Adams); but the reality of artistic production across media and forms was far more varied and geographically widespread.
One of the purposes of this Minimalism: Location Aspect Moment is to expand our conception of what minimalism was, where it happened, who was making it, why, and how it extends through time until now. It is clear that the minimalist impulse happened in cross-national encounters (such as the 1967 show Serielle Formationen in Frankfurt) and that Europe was fertile ground for explorations in serial works, in playing with the prospect of singular forms and systematic thinking. Admitting the significance of the naming of the idea of minimalism in the 1960s, we want to look back to earlier versions of the reductionist, repetitive, singularising or multiplying intents of core minimalist endeavour. In short, we wish to see what an expanded field of minimalism looks like, sounds like.
We want to hear about literature (& writing ABC), dance, building, interior design (& Good Design), gardens (& total fields), science, cybernetics, philosophy, painting, politics, installation, video, cinema, bodily exercise. We want to think about minimalism’s relation to modernism, and how exactly post-minimalism works. We want to think about the softening of minimalism in the 1980s, a twisting of modernist ideals into décor-discipline. We want to recognise the broad scope of projects of reduction, of elimination of the conformities of difference in favour of radical recurrence and stasis.
Contributions are sought from all disciplines; collaborative, creative and cross-media proposals are welcome. Conceived and curated by Dr Sarah Hayden (English, Southampton), Professor Paul Hegarty (University College Cork) with Professor Ryan Bishop (Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton).
Please send an abstract of <300 words to minimalismLAM@gmail.com by June 29th 2016.