Contemporary Art Conference on 21st Century Sculpture Accepting Panel Proposals


LAST CALL FOR PANEL PROPOSALS:    The International Sculpture Center is currently accepting panel proposals for it’s 22nd International Sculpture Conference which will be held in London, UK, April 7-9, 2010, whose topic is What is Sculpture in the 21st Century?

This conference will explore and consider the potential of sculpture in the 21st century – to provide an opportunity to both celebrate its vitality and diversity, its capacity to challenge, and to examine its current position, function and production.


art basel 40 Subodh Gupta Nature Morte Bose Pacia

Individuals are invited to submit proposals for papers and panel discussions that provoke critical exchange and debate in relation to the broad thematic areas referred to below.

Submissions are encouraged that support opportunities for interaction between participants and enable the conference to engage in a truly international exchange of ideas and viewpoints.


The languages of Sculpture

Since William Tuckers highly regarded book "The Language of Sculpture’ was published in 1974, the term ‘sculpture’ within contemporary art encompasses an increasingly diverse range of practices that resists easy categorization, definition or a dominant set of principles.

While numerous successful practitioners can be seen to be part of a long sculpture tradition, many influential contemporary artists employ varied and eclectic methods and approaches in the production of artworks that engage with spaces, contexts and audiences in which the currency, nature and relevance of the term sculpture remains open to question.

  • How and in what way is the development of Sculpture influenced in relation to digital media – light/sound/video and through hybrid and interdisciplinary forms of performance/actions/site based installation?
  • To what extent has the curator’s agenda shaped the language and reception of sculpture and how has this influenced current developments?

Public perception and investment

The scale of, and investment in ambitious commissions of permanent and temporary sculpture as part of city and regional cultural regeneration over the past two decades has been unprecedented. Matched by an expanding audience for contemporary art, internationally recognised artists have produced innovative artworks that have set new standards and expectations in the field of public art.
  • How has the commissioning process and policies for major public projects adapted to this growth, and how has this influenced new ways and methods of working? Are there more appropriate ways to involve and engage artists in development schemes that value and promote sustainability and opportunities for young artists
  • To what extent has the lack of exposure and critique of public sculpture in the art press limited necessary debates in the field, and how well is the impact and investment of projects evaluated in order to gauge it’s temporary or long term success?


The State of Education

In many UK Universities and colleges sculpture has been incorporated into holistic Fine Art courses that embrace an inclusive approach to cross-disciplinary practice reflecting current tendencies and attitudes. The economics, viability and relevance of maintaining three dimensional making in schools is having an impact on recruitment to Further and Higher Education for subjects such as Sculpture and Ceramics.

  • Is the curriculum and support for sculpture changing within the art school and to what extent does this mirror the changes that are taking place in the artist’s studio?
  • How can sculpture, its production and critical development be maintained and enhanced – can global differences and international exchange provide examples of good practice in education?

The above has been written to prompt and suggest possible platforms for discussion and debate. The ISC welcomes responses that extend and develop these themes in areas that will engage delegates in sharing different perspectives and provoke speculation about the future direction and development of Sculpture in the twenty first century.

For complete abstract guidelines and requirements or to submit your paper please visit the ISC website at

Abstract Submission Deadline: June 4, 2009.
For questions email or call 001 609-6891051 x302.

International Sculpture Center
14 Fairgrounds Road, Suite B
Hamilton, NJ USA

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