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Commedification of Art (SECAC 2020)

Richmond, VA
Organization: VCU
Event: SECAC 2020
Categories: Aesthetics
Event Date: 2020-10-21 to 2020-10-24 Abstract Due: 2020-04-01

The 19th Century concertedly investigated the commedification of art, from the

Romantic reception of Shakespeare and Baudelaire's ironic modernity to

Wilde's wit and Bergson's theory of laughter. The 20th Century continued

explorations of the subject: from the Early Modern dialogical imagination

(Bakhtin) and the Dutch comic realism (Alpers) to the Modernist commedia dell'

arte (Starobinski) and the Postmodern prankstership (Duchamp, McCarthy, and

Cattelan). Such inquiries revealed how commedification shadows crucial

political advances in history, i.e., the farcical recurrence (Marx). Despite the

mainstream recognition, its insurgent valuations persist in the loss of

authenticity (Green), the psychological economy (Freud), the cynical

enlightenment (Foucault), and the capitalist instability (Žižek).

The panel explores the commedic visual art as the practice of liberation from the

political, religious, and economic constraints, as pure creativity and redemption

of transgressive labor. Potential questions include but are not limited to: What

are the historical sources of commedification of art and its effects on the

established values and norms of art production? Does it threaten institutions of

art by opposing the commodity business? For the broadest investigation of the

topic, contributors are encouraged to address diverse genealogies of comedy

within the global cultural formations and as distinct individual expressions.

All proposals must be submitted by 11:59 pm EDT on April 1, 2020. If selected to

participate in the annual conference, current SECAC membership and conference

registration are required for all presenters. Submit proposals to the secure online

submission platform, at https://secac.secure-platform.com/a/solicitations/9/home.

Questions may be directed to 2020 Conference Director Carly Phinizy


For logistical assistance, contact SECAC Administrator Christine Tate




Olga Johnson