School of Human Sciences – Catholic University of Portugal, Lisbon
2nd – 3rd November 2015

The present conference aims to discuss the artist both as subject and object of study in the disciplinary field of culture studies.
Artists share with anthropologists a concern for the politics of representation, in the sense of the formulation of knowledge of the world. We will seek to understand the meaning of that common interest. Since the 1990s, a challenging wave of art events has occurred that evinces significant similarities with anthropology in its theorizations of cultural difference and representational practices.
In his seminal essay “The Artist as Ethnographer?”(1995), Hal Foster observes that postmodern deconstruction has made art into a field of social anthropology, introducing the “ethnographic turn in contemporary art”.
Is there a real difference between the practices of the ethnographer and the artist?
Is that an artificial position and are they truly similar?
This conference endeavours to bring together doctoral students and post-docs working within disciplines that relate to the study of culture (arts, humanities and social sciences), and seeks to establish a forum for stimulating debate.

Contributions are welcome on the topics listed below, amongst others:

  • The artist ethnographer;
  • The artist / critic;
  • The artist /academic;
  • The artist in culture studies;
  • Research in the arts;
  • Power and politics of representational practices;
  • Art and anthropology;
  • Dominant and emerging artistic practices;
  • Translation and interpretation of works of art;
  • Canon and innovation;
  • Archive and knowledge;
  • Documentary and research;
  • Ethnography and museums today.

Deadline for submissions: 15th July 2015

Speakers should be prepared for a twenty minute presentation in English, followed by discussion. Please send a 300-word abstract, as well as a brief biographical note (100 words) to mindthegapconference2015@gmail.com by July 15th 2015. Proposals should list paper title, name, institutional affiliation and contact details. Successful applicants will be notified by July 31st 2015. Please note there is a conference registration fee of 50€ due by October 1st 2015.

Keynote Speakers

  • Laura Mulvey
  • Ruth Rosengarten
  • Jean-François Chougnet
  • Isabel Capeloa Gil



Screening of the film “Riddles of the Sphinx” (92m),
directed by Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen
November 2, at 6:00pm
Cinema Ideal (R. do Loreto, nr. 15 – Bairro Alto)