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  • 20
    NOV

    “Against the Scatter of the World”: Rescuing, Keeping, and Moving Things (Stories, Biographies, and Geographies of Collectorship)

    Symposium arranged by he research project Transnational Art and Heritage Transfer and the Formation of Value: Objects, Agents, and Institutions, in collaboration with the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES) and the reseach area Critical and Cultural Theory, Södertörn University.

    The aim of this symposium is to address some issues of collectorship as a specific kind of relationship between modern man and material objects. In Walter Benjamin’s (probably too idealistic) description, the collector, driven by a “a tactile/tactic instinct”, rescues things from annihilation, emancipates them from the burden of utility, keeps them in safe places, and arranges into assemblies “…by keeping in mind their affinities” (Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project, [H4a, 1]). Such uprooting of things in their natural environments, as full of passion and destruction as it is, paradoxically, seeks “…to collect the world from its scatter.” (ibid.) As collectibles, things leave their natural soil and historical contexts to be assembled into thematically organized collections. In their travel, they change hands and thus trace out new territories, create values, and establish networks as they leap over geographic, historical, political, and social boundaries. Collecting re-arranges the world into a different order based on the rules of elective affinity. To return to Benjamin’s analysis of collectorship, “Perhaps the most deeply hidden motive of the person who collects can be described this way: he takes up the struggle against dispersion. … (T)he collector … brings together what belongs together…” (ibid.) We are arranging this event in order to follow these processes from the vantage points of the stories of collecting, collectors’ biographies, and the geographies across which things are scattered to be lovingly gathered and reassembled into a complete whole of a collection. At the colloquim, we will be discussing stories about the lives of people and things, stories about the scattering and re-gathering of the world.

    Keynote: EDWARD KASINEC (Harriman Institute Research Associate and Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution)

    Edward Kasinec holds graduate degrees and certificates from Columbia University (M.A., 1968, M.Phil., 1979), Simmons College (M.L.S., 1976), and New York University (Appraisal Studies in Fine and Decorative Arts, 2010). His career includes service as Reference Librarian/Archivist for the Harvard University’s Ukrainian Research Institute Library (1973-80); Librarian for Slavic Collections, University of California, Berkeley, Library (1980-84); and Curator, Slavic and Baltic Division, The New York Public Library (1984-2009). He presently serves as a Research Associate, Harriman Institute, Columbia University and, since 2014 Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution. Kasinec has published more than two hundred refereed articles and books and has been acknowledged in as many publications and is the author (or co-author) of twelve successful grant proposals to national funding agencies.

    Full proram to be published soon.

    Tid och plats

    När: måndag 20 november kl. 10:00-17:00

    Vad: symposium

    Var: Room MA 796, CBEES, Södertörn University, Campus Flemingsberg

    Arrangeras av: The research project Transnational Art and Heritage Transfer and the Formation of Value: Objects, Agents, and Institutions, in collaboration with the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES) and the reseach area Critical and Cultural Theory, Södertörn University

    Evenemangsspråk: engelska