On the Threshold: Liminality in Theory and Art Historical Practice

What role does liminality play in art historical research? Is the preservation of cultural heritage also inherently a practice of liminality, holding objects in a state of preservation that is neither their original state nor an entirely new one? What rites of passage do objects go through on their path into a museum or a collection? And do certain curatorial practices open spaces for the negotiation of artistic creativity and reception?

The 20th biennial conference of the Austrian Art Historians Association (VöKK) investigates spaces “in between” and transitions, both as art historical themes and challenges to diverse art historical fields such as museum education and conservation. This conference seeks to engage a wide range of professionals working in the field of art and art history and as such, welcomes papers from advanced graduate students, conservators, museum educators, curators, and registrars as well as scholars.  Through an open and broad definition of liminaltiy, this conference aims to create a dialogue among a broad spectrum of topics and approaches, including theoretical discussions and those based on art historical practice.