Diana Kaur Vonna-Michell
Starting in January 2018 Diana Kaur is a PhD candidate at the Department of Art History at Uppsala University.
Nyckelord: critical theory copyright cultural theory art history art making art theory curator conceptual art conceptualism art law artists contract
Diana Kaur is also curator and editor at Mount Analogue: a publishing space, curatorial and editorial agency and analogue studio based since 2010 in Stockholm.
2016-2017 she taught Art history and theory at Umeå Academy of Fine Arts.
Conceptual concerns are commonplace in today’s art production as well as its reception. Idea- based art, reflecting on its own status has become firmly placed at the centre of the field’s specific logic, enabling the myriad of possibilities which make up contemporary art. Can the emergence of this particular mode of practice be traced in Swedish art history? My working hypothesis is that it includes exchange with our closest neighbour in the East, Finland.
One of the specific aims of my dissertation is to locate, document and contextualise early conceptual art practices in Stockholm and Helsinki in the light of transnational cultural exchange. The method for doing this is to select, describe and analyse discourse and practices in Sweden during the 1970’s (with roots in late 1960s and stretching into 1980s) as well as analysing the paths of selected individuals. This is to a large extent basic research, as I am researching previously unchartered historical events and materials as well as producing complementary materials through interviews. Together the study will start to bring the advent of conceptual art practices in Sweden out of the peculiar obscurity that surrounds it and question the notion that there was a backlash after the vibrant 1960s when Sweden became an insular place, as well as contribute to the global map of local conceptualisms. The wider aim is to open up for a discussion on art historical narratives in Sweden by connecting events and practices in new ways. And by focusing on what has been omitted, perhaps also suggesting alternatives to certain canon formations.
A closely connected research field is art law. My master thesis (2015) was a critical discourse analysis of The Artist’s Reserved Rights Transfer and Sale Agreement (Seth Siegelaub and Robert Projansky, New York, 1971) in which I first approached the practice of artist’s contracts and the possible legal implications of conceptual concerns such as: what rights do artists want over the presentation of their work after they no longer own it? How have artists extended, dislocated or conflated the materialities of artworks with their meaning? With the emergence of digital technology and its relationship to analogue practices, how do artists navigate questions and rights regarding documentation?
Hence, my greater research aim is to bring together art historiography with contemporary artistic practices in a discussion about aesthetic control through transfers of ownership and how material considerations function as an integral part of the limits that cordon off an artwork.
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