In the photography above: Audrius Novickas, “Tricolour Sets”, 2005. Property of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania


Date and venue: May 10–11, 2018,
National Gallery of Art Vilnius

Organiser: Institute of Art Research of Vilnius Academy of Arts


The Institute of Art Research of Vilnius Academy of Arts calls for contributions to the international conference “Arts in the State – The State in Arts”. The conference is conceived at the background of the 100th anniversary of the restoration of the Lithuanian state in 2018; yet the scope of the conference is not limited to any particular historical period or place. On this occasion we invite to rethink the conception of the state and the statehood at different times and to evaluate the role of arts in a state, their relation to the development and implementation of the idea of statehood, and art’s input into changes of regimes and conceptions of the state.

The conference encourages researchers to approach the art history as a development of the discourse closely related to the development of the political sphere. This approach does not aim to question the autonomy of art and riddance of utilitarian burdens, yet to the contrary, we aim to discuss what political state allows art to create and maintain the autonomy, and what restricts it by imposing certain functions, or the other way round, by pushing art to the periphery of political life. The conference raises questions, under what conditions art is only able to „mimic” life forms, and when it can take part in the developing of political relations as an important partner. When and why certain artworks seem to be political and other entirely apolitical? Can we analyse aesthetics in political terms, and employ terms of art for politics?

We also invite to discuss how political condition impact on the field of art and relations between its actors (artist, institution, commissioner, collector, art lovers and art public...), what different roles the artist takes in the state, how art structures relate to structures of the state.

Artists are invited to present their projects in the special section for artistic research related to the topic.

Guidelines of the conference (but not the limits):
• The role of art in relation to political changes at various time-periods
• The time of upheaval: artistic reflections on political changes
• Destinies of works of art, design and architecture after an overturn of regime: remaking, destruction, restoration, restitution
• Artist as a statesman, politician, public intellectual
• The state’s approach to arts and artists in theory and practice: since The Republic by Plato to our days
• The conception and representation of the state in arts
• Art talks politics: different strategies in visual, performative, and street arts

We encourage researchers in visual and performative arts, literature, architecture, design, music, and political sciences, philosophers, art sociologists, and artists to send paper and presentation abstracts (∼ 250 words) and short bios (∼ 100 words) to lina.michelkevice@vda.lt and ausra.trakselyte@vda.lt until September 15, 2017.

The length of an academic paper: 20 min
The length of artists’ presentations is not limited (please indicate the format and time needed in your abstract).
Conference languages: English and Lithuanian
Selected papers will be published in peer-reviewed journal Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis.

Conference committee:
• Dr. Tojana Raciunaite (Institute of Art Research at Vilnius Academy of Arts)
• Dr. Lina Michelkevice (Institute of Art Research at Vilnius Academy of Arts)
• Assoc. prof. dr. Lolita Jablonskiene (National Gallery of Art Vilnius & Vilnius Academy of Arts)
• Dr. Skaidra Trilupaityte (Lithuanian Culture Research Institute)
• Prof. dr. Krista Kodres (Tallinn University & Estonian Academy of Arts)
• Dr. Ginta Gerharde-Upeniece (Latvian National Museum of Art & Art Academy of Latvia)
• Dr. Magdalena Kinga Gorska (Institute of Literary Research at Polish Academy of Sciences