What can art history still achieve? Is the discipline inextricably entangled in colonial and sexist structures? Or can it be reutilized to critically reappraise systems of oppression and their respective narratives? For the kick-off event of the new series “Velvet Voice Club” in early December 2022, the editors of TEXTE ZUR KUNST invited voices to speak on the various intersections between crip studies, queer feminism, postcolonial studies, and art history. The panel seeks to sound out the potential inherent in the academic institutionalization of marginal positions, as well as in normativity- and power-critical perspectives. Is a productive institutional anchoring of emancipatory discourses within art history conceivable? Or is there simply no way around diluting their original objectives in such contexts? What conditions need to be created to expand the discipline in constructive ways and to incorporate approaches critical of identity categories in art historical research and teaching? Last but not least: What would the dissolution of the discipline’s methodological and material boundaries look like?
On the occasion of the release of our December issue, "Art History Update," these questions were discussed by curator and arts educator Kate Brehme (Berlin), art historian Charlotte Matter (Zurich), and social theorist and political economist Eric Otieno Sumba (Berlin/Kassel) at Roter Salon, Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz. The complete conversation can now be followed online.