Globalizing Contemporary Art: The Art World's New Internationalism

By Lotte Philipsen | Go to book overview
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New international influences

So far we have seen how New Internationalism was articulated from the 70s up until 1994, when it reached a significant institutional manifestation through the establishment of InIVA. The main interest of equal premises in visual art has been accounted for, along with its institutional genealogy, and its position compared to related fields such as postcolonial theory, the Black Art Movement and feminist art theory. Since this book sets out to analyse how, to what extent, and on what premises New Internationalism has succeeded in realizing its own interest, the following chapters will investigate how the discourse has developed since 1994. This chapter will therefore investigate the development of New Internationalism through its manifestations in three different areas: Localism, Visual Culture, and Urbanism.


In the 90s, the articulation and manifestation of New Internationalism had as their result an increased awareness of the need for the art institutional apparatus in general to respond to the discourse, and a number of the institutions responded to some extent with a sort of localism. Specifically, this meant that initiatives were launched that focused on non-Western contemporary art, but did so by framing the art according to local cultural confines, which meant that a number of art exhibitions included terms like ‘African’ or ‘China’ in their titles. For instance, in the 90s the Guggenheim Museum in New York presented Japanese Art after 1945: Scream against the Sky (1995), Africa: The Art of a Continent (1996), In/sight: African photographers, 1940 to the present (1996) and China: 5000 years (1998).

New Internationalism has meant that art museums in general feel a pressure and a need to broaden or ‘globalize’ their perspective. As a specific result,


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