Global art history: a view from the North

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

“Southern” perspectives on unequal development are undeniably much needed. Yet, Southern perspectives on art and culture sometimes construct a homogenising image of the West. As a result, they are prone to uphold and perhaps even reinforce the dichotomy between “the North” and “the South” rather than deconstruct it. Conversely, this article aims to pluralise the West by contributing to the discussion of differential perspectives on art and cultural identity within the West. I wish to suggest that a Northern perspective—or to be more specific, a semi-peripheral Nordic perspective—might provide scholars based in this region with a productive entry point into the study of the globalised art forms of today. By consciously and self-critically positioning ourselves in the semi-periphery of the global art world, we may be able to develop a kind of inside–outside perspective similar to the “stereo-scopic vision” that Salman Rushdie famously attributed to migrants. Seeing the Western art world from the inside as well as the outside invariably involves comparison and inter- or cross-cultural analysis. Thus, contemporary comparative approaches would need to build on a critical revision of the Eurocentric bias endemic in art history’s long tradition of cross-cultural comparison. Accordingly, the second aim of this article is to discuss the potential of comparative approaches and, in continuation thereof, what scholars in the Nordic semi-periphery could learn from the Southern perspectives of post- and decolonial studies.
TidsskriftJournal of Aesthetics & Culture
StatusUdgivet - 2015


  • Det Humanistiske Fakultet - samtidskunst, kunsthistorie, tværkulturel analyse, komparativisme, transkulturalitet, postcolonialism, Nordisk kolonialisme, semi-periferi, provinsialisme, globalisering

ID: 144118697