Violentia: Representing Bodies and Violence
University of British Columbia
Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory (AHVA)
42nd Annual Graduate Student Symposium
March 7–8, 2019
Exhibition: March 7–28, 2019
Reception: March 7, 5–7 PM

Deadline for Submissions: December 28, 2018

AHVA Gallery—Audain Art Centre
6398 University Blvd.
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, Canada

From the Latin violentia, “vehemence, impetuosity” the signification of the word “violence” seems to have reached the contemporary moment unaltered. At the core of human experience, there are no synonyms, no substituting phrases to express its meaning—no other words. In conjunction with the 2019 UBC Art History, Visual Art and Theory (AHVA) 42nd Annual Graduate Symposium, the organizing committee curators invite artists or students enrolled in or recently graduated from MFA programs to propose work for inclusion in the accompanying exhibition. In keeping with the theme of the symposium, “Violentia: Representing Bodies and Violence” the exhibition will address the relationship between the body(ies) and violence in visual art and culture. The body and violence have a long and complex relationship within the discourse of art history. While not necessarily physical, violence nevertheless manifests itself on or through the body in myriad ways and has been a shaping influence at the individual and collective level. This symposium will investigate the various ways violence is inflicted, read, and embodied through its association with the “body” as both a physical and abstract concept—as an object, a community of people, a measure of land, an immaterial model, a metaphorical representation, etc. In the wake of current global events, we are particularly interested in work that engages the history and contemporary realities of power structures, bodies, and violence in social and political constructs. Considering the contemporary climate surrounding these issues, the organizing committee recognizes the emotional impact and weight of their chosen topic. We encourage submissions that examine all aspects relating to this topic and its influence in creative practices.

Artworks may respond to a range of topics and issues, such as:
 the romanticizing of representations of violence
 activist art, propaganda, nationalism, and violence
 the act of looking as an act of violence
 commodification of the body
 visibility of marginalized bodies
 erotica, pornography, and violence
 non-human bodies as objects of violence

All pertinent information must be submitted via email to by Friday December 28, 2018 with the subject line “AHVA Symposium Artist Submission.” Please indicate if works have specific spatial requirements.

1. Artist’s name, e-mail address, telephone number, and mailing address. For artist collectives or collaborative projects please include the aforementioned information for each participant.

2. An artist statement no longer than 300 words containing the title of the work and a description of the work (materials, dimensions, provenance and if possible a photo of the work). If the work has been previously exhibited, please include the date and location of all showings.

3. A maximum of 3 JPEG-format images, or 1 minute of audiovisual material in MPEG or AVI formats, or 1 minute of sound material in MP3 format. Weblinks of the same quality are also acceptable.

4. A detailed list of the resources necessary to carry out installation/performance of the work: such as materials and tools; electronic, audiovisual and lighting equipment; and an estimated installation time.

5. Design and/or floor plan, including specifications regarding spatial requirements, physical layout, and installation, as required.

6. A brief curriculum vitae (2 pages maximum). Should work be submitted by an artist collective, please include a brief history of the collective and a CV of each of its members.

7. Proposals for commissions are welcomed. They should be 200 words, detailing the fees, resources, and timeline of the production in addition to the above requirements.

*PLEASE NOTE: There may be a small fee for each participating artist, dependent upon the scope of the exhibit and exhibition funding.