Decadence: 43rd Annual AHVA Graduate Symposium

Friday March 6, 2020
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Decadence: Flows of Abundance and Decay
43rd Annual AHVA Graduate Symposium
Friday, March 6, 2020
9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Audain Art Centre, Room 1002
6398 University Blvd

Keynote address by Dr. Julia Skelly, Concordia University

The AHVA graduate symposium and its concurrent exhibition is a collaborative, interdisciplinary event, organized by current AHVA graduate students. In line with the University’s mandate our programming is aimed at creating a rich academic environment and fostering intellectual exchange among graduate students. This symposium is a unique opportunity to engage in questions concerning cultural mediation within visual art and the histories of art and architecture.

Originating in the Latin roots de, meaning “apart/down” and cadere, meaning “to fall,” decadence came to signify decay, or a fall from a more vital state. Beyond its linguistic origins, decadence has taken on a plurality of often contradictory meanings. Decadence: Flows of Abundance and Decay welcomes a variety of perspectives that explore the term’s malleability, taking decadence as a generative force in understanding past and contemporary culture and politics. Considering Charles Baudelaire’s statement that decadence is “an ingenious style complex, wise, full of nuances and refinements, forever extending the limits of language, borrowing from all technical lexicons, taking colours from every palette and notes from every musical instrument.” This symposium sets out to locate and examine these complexities within distinct historical and cultural contexts.


9:00     Refreshments
9:45     Welcome and Opening Remarks
Dr. Julia Orell, Assistant Professor Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory, UBC


Exploitation in Memoriam: The Trap of Imperial Valorization and Postcolonial Nationhood through the War-time Photography of Glenn S. Hensley
Adrian Deveau, MA Candidate Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory, UBC 

The High-rise in Press and Press Photography of 1950s FAZ – Chronological Manipulation of Material Structures as a Means for Renewal
Dorothee Leesing, PhD Candidate Department of Central, Eastern, & Northern European Studies, UBC

11:10 Break


The Five Hundred Arhats by Wu Bin: Dimensions of individuality in the late-Ming China
Elena Ren, MA, Department of Fine Arts, HKU 

Decadence as a Generative Force in the Tale of Genji
Benjamin Weisman, MA Candidate Department of Art and Art History, UCDavis 

12:35 Lunch


Cybernetics, Disability and Craft
Sharona Franklin, Honorary Artist Speaker

2:35     Break


Metamorphosis of the Body in Haruna in a Meteor Shower
Asia Adomanis, MA/PhD Art History OSU 

“You Eat Money from La SAPE”: Conversations with Women Sapeurs in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
Kristen Laciste, PhD Candidate Department of History of Art and Visual Theory, UCSC 

4:10     Break


Queer Decadance Matters: Perspectives Past and Present
Dr. Julia Skelly, Affiliate Assistant Professor Department of Art History, Concordia University


Panel Discussion
Dr. Julia Skelly, Faculty Lecturer
Department of Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University
Dr. Erin Silver, Assistant Professor
Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory, UBC

6:00     Closing Remarks

Concurrent with the symposium is an exhibition at the AHVA Gallery, in the Audain Art Centre, which runs from March 5 to 26