Wednesday, July 8, 2020
PANEL DISCUSSION #4 – Dr. Emmanuel ORTEGA, Moderator
Gaze and Place: The Act of Travel and the Invention of Destinations
9:00 AM Mexico City CDT (10:00 AM EDT, 7:00 AM PDT, 4:00 PM Paris, 5:00 PM Dar es Salaam, 7:45 PM Kathmandu, 10:00 PM Taipei, 11:00 PM Tokyo)
Panelists: Rebecca COREY, Nafasi Art Space (Tanzania) – Karim KATTAN (Palestine) – Mary SHERMAN, TransCultural Exchange (USA) – Ryan Elisabeth REID & Lance L. SMITH, Rogers Art Loft (USA)
Place is a verb rather than a noun; it is a resource and a symbol, an instrument of power that naturalizes a cultural and social construction (Buick, 2019) and it is always contingent to gaze. Several examples associated with place have been ideologically invented through history including “nature,” “landscape,” and “geography.” In her famous essay “The Imaginary Orient,” Linda Nochlin explains that all colonial and touristic presences are dependent on their apparent absences while also bringing into existence the notion of place through their controlling gazes. This how places are invented, “a world of timeless, atemporal customs and rituals, untouched by the historical processes” (Nochlin, 1989). In that sense, artists residencies become mediators of history and place, and are constantly being forced to negotiate with the art world while being challenged by their own local context. What happens when an artist engages with artistic processes while immersed in a community where its culture, people, and even the place itself have been imagined and reimagined by art history and, in general, the dominant visual culture?