monumentalism and beyond – part three

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In the late 19th century the newly founded nation states tried to demarcate their territories by means of majestic monuments , celebrating the heroes and key historical events from the national past. One would expect that in the current globalised society this merging of national space and time has ceased to exist. However, the forceful return of history and national identity in contemporary culture and politics suggests otherwise. What does this contemporary ‘monumentalism’ signify? And is it truly a form of monumentalism or post- or anti-monumentalism?

Jelle Bouwhuis is a curator and since 2006 head of Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, which is part of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Among his recent exhibitions in SMBA are: Susanne Kriemann/Vincent Meessen (2009); One’s History is Another’s Misery (2009) and Jakob Kolding – Stakes is High (2010). Recent publications are: Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani – Blind Spots (2008) (as a co-editor) and Now is the Time. Art and Theory in the 21st Century (2009) (as a co-editor). Bouwhuis is a member of the Advisory Board Visual Arts and Design of the city of Utrecht and a free-lance publicist. Recently he was co-recipient of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize 2010 in Dubai.

Suman Gupta is Professor of Literature and Cultural History, The Open University, UK. He was educated at Delhi University and Oxford University, and held appointments at Nottingham University and the University of Surrey Roehampton. Gupta has published ten books, seven edited volumes, and over fifty chapters, papers and reviews. Recent books include: The Theory and Reality of Democracy (2006), Social Constructionist Identity Politics (2007), Globalization and Literature (2008). His next book, Imagining Iraq: Literature in English and the Iraq Invasion, is due in January 2011. Academic papers in 2010 include, among others, two on communist art in East Europe in the Konsthistorisk Tidskrift and Third Text.

Peter Hitchcock is Professor of Literary and Cultural Studies at the Graduate Center and Baruch College of the City University of New York. He is a faculty member of the English Department at both schools, and also of the Film Studies and Women’s Studies Certificate Programs. He is currently Associate Director of the Center for Place, Culture and Politics at the GC. His books include Dialogics of the Oppressed (1992), Oscillate Wildly (1999), Imaginary States (2003) and, most recently, The Long Space (2010). His current book projects include an analysis of the representation of labor and a theoretical exegesis of spatiality, temporality, and seriality.

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