Appel à contributions : The Medium of light and the neo-avant-garde 1950/60s (Dusseldorf, 28-31 juin 2012)

The Medium of light and the neo-avant-garde 1950/60s (Duesseldorf 28-31 Jun 12)
Deadline: Jan 31, 2012

The international ZERO movement formed between the end of the 1950s and the mid-1960s a neo-avant-garde in the European art scene in which light plays a central role. The focus on light in art after 1945 has a connection with the political, social and cultural situation of the post-war period, but this art is not without precursors: Earlier in the twentieth century, artists of the classical avant-gardes already
engaged with the medium of light. In the framework of the symposium, the ZERO artists’ treatment of light is to be contextualized and also historically situated. Continuities and ruptures, philosophical and theoretical foundations in the various countries are to be thematized, along with the influence of theories of gestalt psychology, the preoccupation with natural phenomena and of ZERO artists’ collaboration with natural scientists and technological experts. The critical analysis of ZERO works of light-art, of their textual references as well as mythological aspects in the engagement with light, brightness, illumination, purification, sun, optimism, knowledge and order from historical, physical, structuralist and phenomenological perspectives is supposed to help attain, fifty years after ZERO, an unbiased view of this neo-avant-garde and its significance and position within art after 1945.

The conference is being organized by the ZERO foundation Düsseldorf in collaboration with the Institute for Art History at the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf within the framework of the graduate program Materiality and Production on 28 June 2012
The papers should not be longer than 20 minutes. Please send your proposals for a talk (maximum of 2,000 characters) to: (deadline: January 31st, 2012).

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