Asimina Kaniari, PhD, Athens School of Fine Arts, Greece, is via ERASMUS+ a guest at the Department of Media Theory

Since the summer of 2017, the Athens School of Fine Arts is a cooperation partner of the Department of Media Theory at the University of Applied Arts Vienna whereby the two institutions exchange teaching personnel (ERASMUS+). The aim of this programme is to broaden study courses by integrating academics from the partner university and thus supporting exchange of knowledge among institutions. In April 2018, Asimina Kaniari, PhD, assistant professor of art history, Athens School of Fine Arts, Greece, will be the first lecturer to come to Vienna under this programme. She is offering a workshop about Ways in and out of flatness: “Nature as Décor” from Broodthaers to Bio Art: The lectures will examine entanglements of the decorative and of the notion of décor in contemporary art within the context of early twentieth-century contemporary art installations from the 1960s and the work of Marcel Broodthaers. A special focus relates to questions and notions of display and of the exhibition, and — against the backdrop of recent discussions and examples from media arts theory — in the context of bio art. Both cases will be examined as examples of appropriation but also as resistance to the idea of “nature as decor”. Emphasis will be placed on artists’ texts and their own claims in describing their work as well as on aspects of labour implicated in their practices and the ways in which these two approaches may be seen to come together in one or not. We will discuss décor as rhetoric, visual strategy, and also as a display and exhibition strategy.

Asimina Kaniari received her doctorate from the Department of Art History, University of Oxford, under Martin Kemp. Her thesis looked at the location of the ornamental in nineteenth-century decorative aesthetics and science. She was an academic visitor at the same Oxford department from 2006 to 2010 and a Scaliger Fellow at the University of Leiden in September 2009. Asimina Kaniari is currently an assistant professor of art history at the Department of Art Theory and History, Athens School of Fine Arts. From September to December 2017 she was on sabbatical leave to conduct research at Princeton University as an associate research scholar (Seeger Fellow). She is the co-editor of the festschrift for Martin Kemp Acts of Seeing. Artists, Scientists and the History of the Visual. A Volume Dedicated to Martin Kemp (London, 2009) and has recently edited a collection of essays on bio art with contributions, amongst others, by Martin Kemp, Robert Zwijnenberg, and Ellen K. Levy, Institutional Critique to Hospitality: Bio Art Practice Now (Athens, 2017).