The Liquid Frontiers of Islamic Art: Interaction and Exchange East and West


Macmahon Ball Theatre, Old Arts (Building 149), The University of Melbourne


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Please note: this event is now fully booked.

In the field of art history as well as in most disciplines, the terms 'East/West' are for the most part interpreted as a dichotomous pair. In addition to the obvious statement that the geographical classification East/West is culturally charged from the Eurocentric point of view, it is usually understood that the East we refer to in art historical terms represents Eastern, South-eastern and Southern Asia, that is, the great traditions of Japan, China, and India in particular. Non-specialists often don't know what to make of Islamic art, where to place its geographical boundaries, how to differentiate between religious and secular, or how to fit it into the complex configuration of art history worldwide. This is one of the most peculiar, stimulating, and exhilarating issues in the study of this field because these boundaries constantly changed through the centuries and represented uninterrupted but porous frontiers by way of which there were constant exchanges, interactions, and cross-effects both within the confines of the Islamic world and between Europe and Asia through the intermediary of Islamic art.

This public lecture is the keynote presentation of the Archives of the Future workshop, convened by the Network for Asian Art Research in Australia and New Zealand.

Image: "Mountains between Tibet and India" from a dispersed copy of Rashid al-Din's Jamic al-tavarikh ("Compendium of Chronicles"), fol. 261r. Tabriz, Iran, ca. 1314-15. Ink, gold and colours on paper. The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, London, MSS 727.


Dr Stefano Carboni
Art Gallery of Western Australia

Dr Carboni was appointed Director of the Art Gallery of Western Australia in October 2008. He was previously (1992 2008) Curator and Administrator in the Department of Islamic Art at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Visiting Professor at the Bard Graduate Center in New York. He is also Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Australia. He holds a BA/MA in Arabic and Islamic Art from the University of Venice and a PhD in Islamic Art from the University of London.

This public lecture is the keynote presentation of the Meeting and Workshop of Asian Art Academics and Curators in Australia and New Zealand to be held at The University of Melbourne on 4 December 2018.

Dr Stefano Carboni's keynote lecture is generously supported by Sofitel Melbourne on Collins.

Sofitel Melbourne