Representations of the “Other”. The Visual Anthropology of Pierre Bourdieu

International symposium in the frame of the project “translate”
July 6th to 15th, 2007

Kunstraum der Leuphana Universitaet Lueneburg und
Gallery of the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig
in cooperation with the Heinrich-Boell-Stiftung Berlin

The theories and practical interventions of the French sociologist and ethnologist Pierre Bourdieu have been intensely and widely discussed in the art world since the 1980s. Some of his concepts such as habitus, field, and symbolic capital have in the meantime become an integral part of the art discourse. Nevertheless, the references to Bourdieu remain rather selective. A comprehensive debate on his art theoretical approach, his relational philosophy, and his visual sociology from the perspective of the artistic field is still missing. While Bourdieu’s analysis of the literary field and, more generally speaking, his sociology of cultural production has recently been discussed widely within the social sciences, the relevance of his work for the visual arts and specifically for contemporary developments and discourses has been largely neglected.

Five years after Bourdieu’s death the symposium “Representation of the ‘Other’ The Visual Anthropology of Pierre Bourdieu” aims at closing this gap. Invited are artists, curators and theoreticians who have worked with and on Bourdieu. Their contributions will refer to thematic fields such as “The theory of practice and the practice of theory”, “Developments and changes within the artistic field”, “Symbolic power and image politics”, “The reception of art” and “Documentarism and visual sociology”.

The symposium will direct attention to the theoretical discussions on Bourdieu’s structuralist constructivism within the realms of art history, sociology of art, philosophy, ethnology, cultural studies and art theory as well as to the manifold points of contact and co–operations of Bourdieu with artists.

Part 1: Pierre Bourdieu, Art and Visual Politics

Friday, July 6th, 2007, 2pm to 8pm

Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig

Christine Frisinghelli (Graz), Christian Kravagna (Vienna), Ruth Sonderegger (Amsterdam), Astrid Wege (Cologne), Hans Haacke (New York)

Saturday, July 7th, 2007, 3pm to 8pm

KW Institute for Contemporary Art Berlin, Auguststr. 69

Andrea Fraser (New York), Catherine David (Paris), Isabelle Graw (Berlin), John Miller (New York / Berlin)

Part 2: Pierre Bourdieu, Visual Sociology and Anthropology

Sunday, July 15th, 2007, 11am to 4.30pm

Kunstraum der Leuphana Universität Lüneburg

Franz Schultheis (Geneva), Olivier Christin (Paris), Nirmal Puwar (London), Helmut Draxler (Berlin / Stuttgart)

Concept: Beatrice von Bismarck, Ulf Wuggenig

The symposium is realized as part of translate. Beyond Culture: The Politics of Translation, in cooperation with the Heinrich-Boell-Stiftung Berlin and with the support of the EU Culture 2000 programme.