Addressing a broad audience of art historians and museum professionals, participants will receive feedback from fellow presenters, an invited keynote speaker, and audience members. Students selected to present papers will also have their work published in the annual symposium compendium, together with the paper delivered by the keynote speaker.
The 2018 Nasher Prize Graduate Symposium will take place Thursday, April 5, 2018.
2018 Nasher Prize Laureate Theaster Gates
With a strong focus on the material aspects of memory, history, and place, Nasher Prize 2018 Laureate Theaster Gates has established a new paradigm for sculpture by joining together disparate methods of artistic production—the creation of discrete objects and the re-zoning, rebuilding, and reterritorializing of architectural spaces. Trained as a potter, with masters’ degrees in urban planning and theology, Gates has synthesized these different areas of study into a diverse practice that incorporates sculpture, ceramics, painting, music, performance, architecture, urban planning, and community engagement. Though best known for his architectural projects, such as Dorchester Projects (ongoing since 2008) and Stony Island Arts Bank (ongoing since 2015), for which the artist has restored abandoned buildings in Chicago and recast them as cultural centers, Gates approaches all aspects of his work from the perspective of an object-maker, with a strong focus on the material aspects of memory, history, and place.
Keynote Speaker Matthew Jesse Jackson
Matthew Jesse Jackson is a writer, curator, and critic who teaches modern and contemporary art at the University of Chicago. He is the author of The Experimental Group: Ilya Kabakov, Moscow Conceptualism, Soviet Avant-Gardes, winner of the Robert Motherwell Book Award, as well as co-author of Vision and Communism. For the past dozen years he has been involved with Our Literal Speed, a text and art undertaking located in Selma, Alabama. His current writing project is called Vernacular Modernism All Over the Deep South and he is editor and co-translator from the Russian of the forthcoming Ilya Kabakov: On Art.
Moderator Sofia Bastidas
Sofia Bastidas’s work focuses on research practices in the political and geographical spheres that can advance cultural discourse and diversify present conditions of knowledge production. Bastidas co-founded TVGOV, a think tank and political design company that re-envisions territory in relation to current economic circumstances, recently participating in the 9th Berlin Biennale. Bastidas also co-founded Port to Port in 2015, a nomadic curatorial research program that grounds theories of planetary urbanization and contemporary capitalism by focusing on maritime logistic cities, collaborating with local institutions to co-produce exhibitions, symposia and artist residencies. Port to Port has produced work for Bluecoat Contemporary Art Center (Liverpool), Solentiname Archipelago (Nicaragua), CCE Casa del Soldado (Panama), and Places Journal (New York), among others venues. Bastidas is currently the SMU Meadows Schools of the Arts Curatorial Fellow and Pollock Gallery Director. Bastidas was born and raised in Ecuador, and lived in Miami, Magic City before moving to Dallas in 2016.
2018 Nasher Prize Graduate Symposium Call for Papers
The Nasher Sculpture Center announces an open call for participation in the Nasher Prize Graduate Symposium, which aims to expand scholarship on the field of contemporary sculpture in its many forms. Submissions should address themes related to the work of the 2018 Nasher Prize Laureate, Theaster Gates.
Suggested Topics for the 2018 Nasher Prize Graduate Symposium: Theaster Gates
- Materiality in social practice art
- Representation, memory, and memorial in contemporary art
- The artists’ role in community rebuilding
- Ethics and social practice art
- Object-making in the expanded field of sculpture
- Labor, craft, and contemporary art
- Material history and cultural preservation in contemporary art
- Black bodies in performance art
- Identity politics and art: the legacy of the 1993 Whitney Biennial
- Contemporary art after the 1993 Whitney Biennial
*Preference will be given to those papers that address Gates’s work directly.
Submissions may include, but are not limited to:
- Excerpt of an MA/MFA paper or thesis
- Excerpt of a seminar paper
- Excerpt from a dissertation
Complete proposals must include the following:
- A complete mailing address, e-mail address, phone number, field, and university affiliation of participant.
- Paper title and abstract of no more than 200 words that includes three to five keywords.
Send submissions and questions to email@example.com.
Successful applicants will be notified by January 31, 2018.
With proof of need, eligible candidates may be considered for scholarship funding to offset travel costs.
Download the Call for Papers: 2018 Nasher Prize Graduate Symposium (PDF)
Proposals are due by Monday, January 15, 2018.
Submit a proposal
Presenting Sponsor: JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Founding Partners: The Eugene McDermott Foundation and Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger
The Dallas Foundation is the Presenting Sponsor of Nasher Prize Month, with additional support generously provided by The Donna Wilhelm Family Fund. The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation is the Arts Youth Education Sponsor of Nasher Prize Month.