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All the World’s Futures: Global Art and Art History in the Wake of COVID-19

Collage of portraits of Serge Alain Nitegeka, Ho Tzu Nyen, Simone Douglas, and Sean Lowry

March 4, 2021
4:00 PM

Since the beginning of the 21st century, the global turn has shifted art history and contemporary curatorial practices to consider global-scale issues.

Less an attempt to study the whole world, the global is a methodology that has been used to decenter national discourses and challenge Euro-American-centrism and Orientalist narratives. At its best, global art history and curatorial practices emphasize mobility, exchange, networks, transnational and transcultural studies. At its worst, the global turn has engendered and normalized travel dependent practices that celebrate biennials, art fairs and a roster of globe-trotting curators, collectors and artists. Beginning in January 2020, the global art world ground to a halt due to the unprecedented and all-encompassing COVID-19 pandemic.

Borrowing the title of the 2015 Venice Biennale curated by Okwui Enwezor, this panel considers the current “state of things.” Held about a year after the first cases of COVID-19 were publicly identified in the United States, the panel acts as a space of reflection to consider the impacts of the pandemic on global practices and the possibilities that have arisen.

FREE, please register for the webinar link.  

Video recording


Ho Tzu Nyen, Artist, Singapore

Serge Alain Nitegeka, Artist, Johannesburg

Sean Lowry, Project Anywhere, Head of Critical and Theoretical Studies in Art, Victorian College of the Arts, Faculty of Fine Arts & Music, University of Melbourne

Simone Douglas, Project Anywhere, Director of the MFA Fine Arts, School of Art, Media, and Technology, Parsons School of Design, The New School


Orianna Cacchione, Curator of Global Contemporary Art, Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago

Jessica Hong, Associate Curator of Global Contemporary Art, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth

Presented by the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art and Dartmouth College’s Hood Museum of Art. The event is co-sponsored by the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Chicago with generous support from a Title VI National Resource Center Grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

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