52nd International AICA Congress Germany 2019

AICA International's 52nd Congress will be held in Cologne and Berlin, October 1–7, 2019. The congress theme is "Art criticism in times of populism and nationalism." AICA-USA members are encouraged to attend and submit paper proposals, due April 7.

Call for papers

Congress Theme

We live in an era of increased nationalism and demonization of the other, worldwide phenomena that are guided by fear and uncertainty, and the real threats of terrorism and civil war. As globalization, migration, and ecological crises abound, related critical voices and politicized statements have become more widely heard. Artists today are paying greater attention to political issues and current curatorial practice in exhibitions such as Manifesta, the biennials, and Documenta, increasingly reveals the new range of artists’ reactions to major events. Yet politically-themed art investigations pose challenges for critics.

As traditional boundaries of art forms disappear, we confront the interaction of art and politics. What effects do global political developments have on art criticism and its traditional evaluation criteria? How can we discuss questions concerning aesthetics in political contexts? How does art criticism react to art positions that differ from their political contexts? Today more than ever, art critics face an art scene shaped by pop culture and the commodification of art. Are traditional standards still valid for critics amidst a “winner-takes-all” art market and institution-critical exhibition formats?

At the forthcoming congress, we seek to address questions like these as a worldwide phenomenon, with the hope of uncovering insights about the future social role of art criticism as an appropriate approach towards pluralism and its art-related social challenges.

Congress Program

Tuesday 1 October, Cologne
Meetings of AICA Committees at Stiftung Horbach
Reception at the Town Hall, Hansasaal
Evening event with award ceremony for the Distinguished Prize for Art Criticism at Museum Ludwig

Wednesday 2 October, Cologne

Meeting of the AICA Board at Stiftung Horbach
General Assembly at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne
Evening reception and prelude to the Congress at the auditorium

Thursday 3 October, Cologne–Berlin

In the morning: departure by train from Cologne to Berlin
3:30pm Start of the Congress Symposium at Hamburger Bahnhof
8:00pm Evening event at Palais Populaire (registration required)

Friday 4 October, Berlin

Congress Symposium at Gropiusbau: Sessions and Roundtable

Saturday 5 October, Berlin

Congress Symposium at Gropiusbau: Sessions and Roundtable
Closing and Awards Ceremony

Sunday 6 and Monday 7 October, Berlin

Post-Congress activities

AICA supports art writers around the world through public programs and membership that includes free access to museums across the globe. Since its formation in 1950, AICA has been committed to elevating the values of art criticism as a discipline, and acting on behalf of the physical and moral defense of works of art.
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About AICA

AICA supports arts writers around the world through public programs and membership that offers free access to museums across the globe. AICA-USA represents the largest national section of AICA International with over 450 distinguished critics, curators, scholars, and art historians working throughout the United States. As part of the international organization, we benefit from a global reach in presence. AICA-USA is intent on international communication, elevating the values of art criticism as a discipline, and acting on behalf of the physical and moral defense of works of art.

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Membership Benefits

AICA's membership card is recognized for entrance to museums around the world. Members are invited to attend the annual AICA International Congress, hosted each year by a different member nation, and the AICA-USA annual meeting, which is held every year in May.

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Featured Programs

Organized in collaboration with CUE Art Foundation, this program matches emerging critics with experienced AICA-USA members who guide them through the process of writing a catalogue essay.

A partnership between the Arts Writers Grant Program and AICA-USA that gives art writers the opportunity to strengthen their work through one-on-one consultations with leading art critics.

Every fall, in cooperation with the New School's Vera List Center for Art and Politics, AICA-USA presents a Distinguished Critic Lecture.

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