APPEL A CONTRIBUTIONS : The Skin of Objects : Rethinking Surfaces in Visual Culture – Norwich Castle, June 27, 2015

LIEU : Norwich Castle

DATE : 27 juin 2015

‘The Skin of Objects: Rethinking Surfaces in Visual Culture’

27th June 2015, 10:00-17:00 Norwich Castle
Organised by University of East Anglia, Sainsbury Institute For Art &
Norwich Castle & Museum

Histories and theories of visual representation have often reduced the
meaning of ‘surface’ to superficial elements rather than recognising
them as a component which feeds into and activates the visual artwork’s
significance. In the visual arts surface has often been seen as sources
of meanings and visual information or a self-contained aesthetic whole,
exclusively associated with decoration or ornamentation. Jeff Koons
prompts us to grapple with what is manifest in the world of objects:
skins, materials, even picture planes and varnishes. Koons’ metal
‘balloon animals’ and ‘cartoonish’ mirrors can offer a point of
departure to think about the wider field of the weight of surface
effects. While certain kinds of object are often treated as if they
lack a surface, or are read as entirely ‘surface’. Certain objects
prompt us to think about the skin that enfolds them and yet others seem
to blind us to their interior. From new developments in Phenomenology
and Affect Theory to New Materialism and Thing Theory, we welcome
papers which challenge received ideas concerning ‘surface’ in a variety
of historical and contemporary contexts.

The Sainsbury Centre for Modern Art, UEA and Norwich Castle Museum
welcome diverse papers on art historical and visual cultural subjects,
thinking through the idea of ‘Surface’. We encourage submissions which
critique the idea of surface as supplement, and which engage related
concepts such as: friction, edge, depth and (in)visibility.

This one-day conference will include guest speakers and an introductory
tour of Norwich Castle Museum’s new Jeff Koons exhibition, as well as
coffee, a drinks reception and an optional lunch.

To submit a proposal for a 20-minute presentation, we require an
abstract not exceeding 300 words and a brief professional biography of
100 words by 25th March 2015. All submissions should be sent to

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