Publications

As soon as published, they will appear here.

Vibe Nielsen: “Demanding Recognition – Curatorial Challenges in the Exhibition of Art from South AfricaPhD thesis, 2019.
This PhD thesis explores how demands for recognition are influencing debates about curation and decolonisation in contemporary South Africa, where a wish to be recognised on the international art scene is constantly present in museum settings, art fairs and exhibitions. The demands are voiced by curators, artists, students and sex-workers, who demand to be heard in a world which they feel for many years has neglected Africa and African artists and not given them the attention they deserved. The demands for recognition they raise are sometimes demanding for the curators expected to deal with them: despite or because of their often privileged backgrounds, they too experience their lives in an ambivalent and “betwixt and between” (Turner 1967: 97) environment as challenging. The demands for recognition targeted at them and audiences in the Global North can be seen as a wish to be ascribed a positive status in a society in which black South Africans continuously are marginalised. Demands for recognition are often the driving force behind political movements and social struggle (Honneth 1995: 137; Taylor 1994: 25), but this thesis shows that they can also be one of the driving forces behind the establishment of a new museum: at the Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town, attempts to direct international attention toward the South African art market is not just a corporate adventure, but also an example of an institution that demands global recognition for Africa as a continent that for long has been overlooked in the global art world.

Jens Sejrup: "Japanese dreams: Kurokawa Kishō’s annex to the Van Gogh Museum and its later re-appropriation"; Museum History Journal 11:1; 2018
This paper traces the history of a Japanese-funded annex to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam over the past twenty-five years. The analysis focuses on three key years in the building’s history: 1991, 1999, and 2015. Critically examining public debate and media coverage of the building in contemporary Dutch- and Japaneselanguage sources, I argue that changing claims and public perceptions of Japan reflected the country’s shifting economic fortunes and international position during the period.

Jens Sejrup: "Unrealizations: The making and unmaking of two Japanese-designed extensions to European museums"International Journal of Cultural Studies 22. 6, 2019.
The article analyzes motifs of locality and globality in long-lasting controversies surrounding two unrealized Japanese-designed extension projects to European museum buildings: the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and the Institut Valencià d’Art Modern in Valencia. The analysis demonstrates that despite their spectacular confrontations, supporters and opponents in both cases shared similar notions of the affected neighborhoods and museums as meaningful social and cultural spaces. The controversies revolved around whether or not the Japanese-designed expansions would violate or reawaken perceived local energies and qualities. Engaging a little-studied dimension of cultural globalization, the article asks: what sort of locality emerges from unmaking globality-inflected monumental architecture?

Jens Sejrup: ”Adding Value: Recent Trends in Museum Exhibitions of Asian-Pacific Artifacts: Guest Editor’s Introduction”, Journal of Transcultural Studies 10:2, 2020.

Focusing empirically on transcultural phenomena in-and-out of China, South Korea, and Indonesia, the three papers in this special section of The Journal of Transcultural Studies interrogate important aspects of transcultural circulations and exhibitions of objects between Euro-America and the Asia-Pacific, both historically and currently.

As these papers evidence, the cultural “far” and “near” are relative notions in a complex transcultural relationship. In terms of value accumulation and significance, local cultural artifacts still tend to benefit from an association with Europe and North America; they add value and prestige to their site of production and return from the West improved, valuated, and symbolically uplifted.