International Conference 'Arts in the State – The State in Arts'

The conference encourages researchers to approach the art history as a development of the discourse closely related to the development of the political sphere. This approach does not aim to question the autonomy of art and riddance of utilitarian burdens, but rather to discuss what political state allows art to create and maintain certain autonomy, and what restricts it by imposing particular functions, or the other way round, by pushing art to the periphery of political life. The conference raises questions, under what conditions art is only able to "mimic" life forms, and when it can take part in the political production as an important partner. When and why certain artworks seem to be political and other entirely apolitical? How can one talk about politics of aesthetics and about aesthetics of politics?

We also invite to discuss how political conditions shape the field of art and relations between its actors, what different roles the artist takes in the state, how art structures relate to structures of the state. Another intriguing issue here are the "lives" of artworks: shifts in their status and reading, their destinies after political overturns, losses and returns. And ultimately, reverberations of state ideologies and power games in works of art, whether commissioned by the state, or born as an independent critique of it.

The two-day conference programme brings together nearly 30 art, architecture, design, and film researchers and artists to discuss diverse relations between arts and the state, as investigated in their research and art practice.

Programme and abstracts

Supported by: Goethe-Institut Litauen, Lithuanian Society of Art Historians

2018 05 11


A. Novickas. Trispalvės dėlionė. 2005

The Institute of Art Research of Vilnius Academy of Arts invites to the international conference Arts in the State  - The State in Arts. This conference takes place against a background of the Centennial of the restored Lithuania in 2018.