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Call for papers: International conference at Museuem Tinguely 2025

Einsendeschluss: 01.09.2024

(english version)

Call for papers     

Museum Tinguely     
March 20–22, 2025

Submission deadline: September 1, 2024

“Jean Tinguely Revisited: Critical Rereadings and New Perspectives”
An international conference at Museum Tinguely in Basel. Organized by Dr. Sandra Beate Reimann.

Although Tinguely experienced his breakthrough as an artist in 1959 and was successfully pursuing an international career by 1960, his work has played a subordinate role in art-historical research for a long time. It was not until the first and especially the second decade of the twenty-first century that his work began to be studied and contextualized in art-historical research as well as in exhibition projects and accompanying catalog publications. Many aspects of his oeuvre have not been explored extensively or have yet to be examined at all. The artist’s pioneering achievements (including performativity, dissolution of sculpture into ephemeral occurrences, choice of material and criticism of consumerism, interactivity, and immersive situations), which in the late 1950s already had a decisive influence on the development and understanding of art, are not well known, considering that writing on the history of sculpture is essentially focused on the development of Minimalism and Postminimalism. At the same time, changes in discourse (performativity and event terms, actor-network theory, and machine concepts) provide scholars with an opportunity to view Tinguely’s work from a contemporary perspective and, most of all, to challenge it critically (especially in terms of gender, postcolonial discourse, as well as animal ethics and aesthetics). With this call, the Museum Tinguely would like to create a platform for the newest research on Tinguely’s oeuvre and inspire scholars to consider it in new ways.

We would particularly like to encourage young scholars to submit a contribution. In addition to art-historical studies, we also welcome contributions from the context of media studies and other relevant humanities.

Possible subjects envisioned for the conference
–The role of kinetic art in the development of sculpture and installation, especially the overcoming of its status as an object in the second half of the twentieth century; ephemeral, performative, participatory, and multisensorial aspects of Tinguely’s art
–Institutional criticism; criticism of monuments; art and everyday life
–A postcolonial perspective on Tinguely’s Baluba series and the reception of Patrice Lumumba in art and culture circles of the 1960s
–Codification of gender characteristics in the work of the artist and in collaborations with Niki de Saint Phalle and Eva Aeppli
–The use of bones in Tinguely’s late work and ethical aspects regarding animal bones and human remains
–Collective art projects in Tinguely’s work and artistic context; the meaning of European and transatlantic artist networks for Tinguely’s work and for the development of art after 1950
–Tinguely’s theater and stage projects and the convergence of visual arts and theater starting in the 1960s
–Tinguely’s understanding of machines and the development of machine concepts in art in the second half of the twentieth century
–Tinguely’s realm of thought and his recourse on specific philosophical positions (such as the Philosophers series)
–Social criticism and criticism of consumerism in the artist’s work
–Connection between high art and popular culture; strategies of accessibility; role and enhancement of the dimension of playfulness in twentieth-century art

Proposals for alternative formats such as moderated discussions, short workshops, performances, and interventions on the conference’s subject matter are equally welcome.

The conference will be held in German and English. The physical presence of participants is required. (Please contact us regarding any language barriers or physical limitations; we are happy to propose individual solutions.) Lectures will be remunerated with 600 Swiss Francs. Following the conference, a written publication of chosen contributions in their original language will be made available online.

Please submit a short proposal (no more than 500 words) for a twenty-minute presentation and a CV of your academic profile (no more than 250 words) by email to tinguelybasel.conference@roche.com
Submissions may be made in German or English.  Suggestions for alternative formats may be submitted by email to the same address.

Deadline for submissions: September 1, 2024. You will receive a response regarding your participation by September 30, 2024.


For more information click here.