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Art and War

Conference Dutch Association of Aesthetics (Nederlands Genootschap voor Esthetica)

Utrecht, Thursday 18 and Friday 19 april 2013

“After eighteen months of negotiation, on 11 April 1713 diplomats from all over Europe concluded a peace treaty in the Utrecht city hall, which had enormous consequences for the countries involved and their possessions overseas.” The Utrecht treaty is the occasion for a massive cultural program in Utrecht, celebrating the arts and culture. Because we had a hard time finding examples of art regarding peace, but found ample examples of artists working on war, we choose Art and war as our theme. Through this we think that, in our own peculiar manner, we add to the “Utrecht Peace treaty” theme by accommodating discussion on the following issues.


– Culture wars: high and low art (art and kitsch); subsidy-regimes. E.g., subsidy cuts on “high art” that seems unable to fund itself by sales to the masses.
– War as a theme in art. Are war-scenes depicted neutrally; should they be? Did Picasso’s Guernica perhaps have a societal impact on peace? What to think of the artist’s freedom not to tell the truth?
– How do artists respond to representations of war in the media? Can art be understood as a response to epistemological indifference in journalism? (Think of artists such as Goya, Manet and Picasso; and more recently Anno Dijkstra, Roland Ophuis; Fernando Botero’s paintings of Abu Graib atrocities, etc.)
– Strive between philosophical schools in the philosophy of art. Are there unsurmountable differences between the Continental and the Analytical schools in aesthetics?
– Philosophical aesthetics vs. empirical approaches (normativity and preference). Can all philosophical questions (or even any) be solved through empirical research?
– Isn’t artistic creativity a war on the easy?
Rob Scholte: Vrede van Munster

Rob Scholte: Vrede van Munster, 1998

Thursday 18 April 2013

10.00 tea/coffee and Reception
10.45 intro voorzitter
11.00 Art and Conflicts (chair: Kris Goffin)
Cornée Jacobs: “Conflict areas turned into imagery”
Karin de Jonge: “Constructed memories as cultural icon. (Geconstrueerde herinneringen als cultureel icoon)”
Ling Zhu: “True Pain is not the Pain We Suffer, but the Pain We Inflict — Paintings of Wars and Conflicts by the Chinese Artist Li Yan”
13.00-13.55 lunch
13.55 Rob Scholte and copyright (chair: Rob van Gerwen)
Gino van Roeyen “Art Battles with a ©” (40′)
Rob van Gerwen: Introduction: “The Right to Copy and the Duty to Watch” (15′)
Keynote: Rob Scholte: Art and war (55′)
15.45 tea/coffee
16.00 Earth and world (with Heidegger) (chair: Karen Simecek)
Kees Vuyk: “Art at war with itself: bourgeois culture, avant-garde and Heidegger.”
Martin Kuka: “War in a peaceful scenery”
Adrienne Dengerink Chaplin: “Art, Peace and (Local) Politics: The Contested Status of Derry’s Bogside Murals
18.00 Round-up
18.30 Diner (only for those enlisted (use the form))
20.15 “Open Performance Site”, Nicolai church (Nicolaaskerkhof 8, 3511 XC Utrecht)

Friday 19 April

9.00 tea/coffee
9.30 Public art (chair: Rob van Gerwen)
Irene Janze: “Appropriation of the public space by a site-specific art intervention is an act of war.”
Neli Dobreva: “Gazing at Humanized Terror: Boteromorphs at Abu Ghraib.”
Anno Dijkstra: “Nachtaarde”
11.30 tea/coffee
11.45 Conceptual Conflicts (chair: Ling Zhu)
Rob van Gerwen: “Public Art and Site-Specificity, a Phenomenological Conflict”
Annelies Monseré: “Experimental philosophy”
13.05-14.00 lunch
14.00 Art about war (chair: Adrienne Dengerink Chaplin)
Karen Simecek: “Evaluating War through Poetry”
Kris Goffin: “Background feelings shout musical moods down. The emotional arousal of music”
15.20 tea/coffee
15.35 (chair: Annelies Monseré)

Paul Cortois: “Towards a philosophy of hatred: under the spell of Hans Keilson and his adversary”

Oleg Lebedev: “Is Schiller a revolutionary thinker? On Spieltrieb, harmony and class struggle”
16.55 Rounding up
17.00-18.30 Annual meeting of the Dutch Association of Aesthetics (ALV-NGE) + Announcing the Winner of the NGE-essay-Award 2012: Janskerkhof 13, Stijlkamer, Room 0.06.


Sweelinckzaal, Drift 21, Utrecht (Entrance through the library, Drift 27).
Entrance (NGE-membership included, for 2013), full rate: € 50,= (reduction rate: € 35,=).
Enlist through the form) on this website.


For information please contact the organisers:
Rob van Gerwen: rob.vangerwen@phil.uu.nl
Kees Vuyk: kvuyk@xs4all.nl

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