I had the pleasure of attending the 100th Annual Conference of the College Art Association, the professional association for practitioners of art, art history, and criticism, which also publishes several academic journals including The Art Journal and The Art Bulletin . As an art history graduate, I was thrilled at the opportunity of engaiging with the professional art community, learning about the most recent art-historical research, and of course, visiting L.A.
Visiting L.A. proved to be quite an eccentricity since I did not have a car and needed public assistance to move from places. Still, I managed to visit the LACMA, MOCA, the Getty, and see bit of the pre-Oscar drama in Hollywood Blvd. Many characters appeared before me: wanna-be actors who pet doves and practice kung-fu, horny museum curators who still think a girl is just a girl, and international couch surfers clinging on the American Dream, all adding to the spectacle of what L.A. represents.
At the conference, I listened to fascinating and disappointing lectures; some research was original, well written, and engaging; while other just regurgitated historic facts without a critical and innovative view. Among the many sessions imparted throughout the conference, — I only had the change to see a few — only a smaller fraction made an impact. These are the ones:
-The Body as a Site of Political Intervention in Contemporary Middle Eastern Art, self-explanatory. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcyquvDEe0o
-Beyond Censorship: Art and Ethics, the frail ethical boundaries that artists like to question.
-Ambas Americas: Both Americas, scholars trying to discuss issues of citizenship, the national and trans-national.
I will devote individual posts to each session, because as of today, I still cannot process all the happenings at the conference and my visit to L.A. (the smog of the city still hazes my thoughts and tender heart).
I will also post provocative pictures as soon as I develop my disposable Kodak camera.