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Prof. dr. D.A. (Deborah) Cherry

Kunstgeschiedenis van de nieuwste tijd
Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
Fotograaf: Eduard Lampe

  • Spuistraat 134
  • Postbus 15540
    1001 NA Amsterdam
  • research projects

    The 9/11 Effect: Art and Cultural Politics in Post-9/11 Europe (2008-2012)

    With Jaap Kooijman, Joost de Bloois, Magriet Schavemaker, Marieke de Goede, Joyce Goggin, Jan Teurlings, Thomas Vaessens 

    " Nous sommes tous américains " declared Le Monde after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. For a short moment, we were all Americans. On the political level, this transatlantic solidarity between Europe and the USA proved to be short-lived, as it was soon challenged by the unilateral stance of the Bush administration - its War on Terror and the war in Iraq - resulting in a revival of European anti-Americanism (Kroes 2006). On both sides of the Atlantic, however, significant new security practices and modes of governing are emerging in the name of the 'fight against terror.'

    This research group has assembled around the premise that a thorough understanding of contemporary modes of governing in Europe has to include an analysis of thediversity of ways inwhich visual culture and cultural representation play a role in their constitution. Immediately after 9/11, it was assertedthat art and literature 'could not matter much ... in the face of so much murder and alarm' (Kunkel 2005). However, six years on it has become clear that the politics of fighting the war on terror intimately depends upon a landscape of cultural production (Retort 2005; Campbell and Shapiro 2007). If the spectacle of 9/11 was a symbolic targeting (Baudrillard 2002; Žižek 2002), then so too have been the political and military responses taking place in the name of the "war on terror" (Buck-Morss 2006). Moreover, the televisual media spectacle of 9/11 has become inseparable from our understanding of "what happened" on September 11th (de Bloois 2006; Campbell 2002; Kooijman 2008).

    Starting from the premise that cultural production is essential to the constitution and challenge of contemporary modes of governing in Europe, this group has organized its activities around two closely related sets of questions, one from the perspective of politics and one from the perspective of the arts and literature.

    The 9/11 Effect

    Monuments and Memorials

    Convened with Sutapa Biswas, University of the Arts London

    Monuments and memorials are characteristic features of colonial andpostcolonial cities, and they have long been located in rural as well as urban contexts. Often produced in the artist's studio,widely studied in the academy, monuments and memorials frequently exist outside the purview of the museum. They come into being at preciselocations,perhaps marking the unique site of a traumatic event or the longer historical moment of epistemic violence. Many factors prompt the installation, re/location and destruction of monuments and memorials. How have their meanings been contested, as for example during decolonization or profound political change? Our focus is on the trans-national, the inter-cultural and the post-colonial, on the contemporary as much as the historical, and on monuments and memorials in global settings.

    This project organised a conference session with 12 international speakers at the 2008 Association of Art Historians conference in London .

    Academic Sessions: London 2008 Monuments and Memorials

    New Strategies in the Conservation of Contemporary Art (2008-2012)

    Directed with Renee van der Vall Universiteit Maastricht , and Tatja Scholte and Ijsbrand Hummelen, Institut Collectie Nederland.

    This research project, organised in conjunction with The Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage (ICN), Maastricht University , and The Netherlands Graduate Research School WTMC (Science, Technologyand Modern Culture)explores the contending theoretical models engaged in the conservation of contemporary art. It considers the ways in which new genres of contemporary art pose profound practical and theoretical problems to museum conservationand curatrial practices, not only because of the ephemeral, fragile and experimental nature of their materials and technologies, and sometimes unknown propensities, but because their status as events, acts or installations challenge pre-dominant concepts of conservation which focus on the object, and on strategies which aim to 'freeze' or at least maintain the object's material condition at an agreed point in its history. The project investigates a range of theoretical and philosophical approaches, testing them against selected empirical and scientific case studies, drawn from a number of specific museum collections. Through a series of sub-projects, the research interrogates what happens to works of art on entering these collections - when documented, stored, exhibited, re-installed (on loan or in house), researched and restored. It analyses the pressures from colliding forces: such as institutions, exhibitions, concepts of the spectator, curators, conservators, and artists and their representatives. 

    ASCA: New Strategies in the Conservation of Contemporary Art (2008-2012)

    Cultural Translations in the Arts

    This project interprets, studies and analyses cultural translation in multiple and overlapping ways. Transnational developments have provoked the need for a deeper understanding of the ways in which the visual arts are translated, between cultures, between visual languages and between disciplines. The project examines the ways in which images, genres and visual forms are transformed by exchanges withinand between cultures. It examines art writings and curating as forms that 'translate; the visual, the 'scenes of translation' (Maharaj, 1994), and the issue of 'translatability' in the global market (Apter, 20001). Partner institutions include the Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven .

    Transnational Practices in Curating Unpublished paper given at Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven seminar on Collecting. 2007

    Curated conversation

    with Galit Eilat and Shaheen Merali at the symposium BecomingDutch/Eindhoven Caucus, 19 November 2007  

    Curated conversation

    Forthcoming ASCA Seminar with Stephen Bann

    Text of the new paragraph

    OSK: Onderzoekschool Kunstgeschiedenis

    Deborah Cherry and Jan van Adrichem of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam are co-directors of the Modern Section

    Paper on The Art Historical journal, International Futures, at the OSK/AICA Conference on The Art Historical Journal , Van Gogh Museum , Amsterdam , February 2008  

    Conference, Van Gogh Museum , 21 November 14.00-17.00: Stephen Bann on 'Nadar and History',  with responses and discussion .

    Space Soirees

    Space Soirees organised at ASCA in autumn/winter 2007, with Hanneke Grootenboer, now at the University of Oxford, considered space as a focus of critical theorising.

  • publications and exhibitions

    About Mieke Bal

    Blackwell, Oxford , 2008   ISBN 9781405186568, 

    About Mieke Bal provides the first sustained scholarly assessment of Bal's writings in art history, visual studies and critical theory.   The collection considers Bal's writings in depth, developing and extending her thinking, and providing enlightening reflection on many of her most important ideas and concepts. Contributors include Murat Aydemir, Hanneke Grootenboer, Giovanni Careri, Ernst van Alphen, Griselda Pollock, Sonja Neef, Jill Bennett, and Kaya Silverman, with a conversation between Mieke Bal and Michael Ann Holly.   The essays consider Bal's approaches to the art of the past alongside more recent film, photography, graffiti, interactive immersive environments, online performance, and several ofher recent films.

    download contents

    Spectacle and Display

    Edited and introduced with Fintan Cullen, Oxford , Blackwell, 2008, ISBN 9781405175241

    Leading international scholars and younger researchers address issues such as museum display, collecting, the creation of visual spectacles, institutional histories, curatorial strategies, cultural exclusion and definitions of heritage. The collection considers  a variety of cultural contexts and historical periods

    download contents The collection was based on a conference held in Nottingham in January 2008


    co-edited and introduced with Fintan Cullen, 2007

    Blackwell, Oxford , ISBN 1-4051-4694-4               

    Location has become one of the most insistent issues in art history and cultural studies, alongside debates about de-territorialisation, site-specificity, situatedness, space and place. This collection of essays by art historians, anthropologists, and commentators on visual culture investigates the theme of location from diverse perspectives, It examines the manifold ways in which art, artists, and writers on art migrate, as well as probing the significance of location in producing, curating, collecting and writing about art.

    downlaod contents

    About Stephen Bann

    edited and introduced by Deborah Cherry.   Oxford , Blackwell.  ISBN-1-4051-4830-6

    This collection explores the writings of Stephen Bann, a leading art historian with an international reputation for his studies of the visual arts and cultural theory. Wolfgang Ernst, Richard Shiff, Jean-Louis Schefer, Zhang Hongxing, Susan Siegfried,   Paul Duro, Martin Bressani and Marc Grignon, and Michael Charlesworth reflect on Bann's work in terms of their own intellectual formation, offering an active engagement with writings which have shaped and continue to inform visual studies, art history, studies of the museum and the history of collecting, aesthetics, film and photography studies, approaches to landscape and cultural theory. As this collection acknowledges Bann's writings have 'oriented the concerns of a whole generation of scholars'. The essays are presented with a portfolio of Bann's poem prints.

    download contents download introduction

    Local/Global: Women Artists in the Nineteenth Century

    edited and introduced with Janice Helland.Ashgate, 2005

    Local/Global: Women Artists in the Nineteenth Century is the first book to investigate women artists working in disparate parts of the world. This major new book offers a dazzling array of compelling essays on art, architecture and design by leading writers: Joan Kerr on art in Australia by residents, migrants and visitors; Ka Bo Tsang on the imperial court in China; Gayatri Sinha on south Asian artists; Mary Robertson haremportraiture of the Ottoman empire; Griselda Pollock on Parisian studios; Lynne Walker on women patron-builders in Britain; Síghle Bhreathnach-Lynch and Julie Anne Stevens on Irish women artists; Ruth Phillips on souvenir art by native and settler women; Janet Berlo on North American textiles; Kristina Huneault on white settler identity in Canada; Charmaine Nelson on neo-classical sculpture in North America; and Stacie Widdifield on Mexico. This pioneering collection addresses issues at the heart of feminist and post-colonial studies: the nature of difference, discrepant modernities and cross-cultural encounters. Written in a lively and accessible style, this lavishly illustrated volume offers fresh perspectives on women, art and identity. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of women artists and the art of the nineteenth century.

    Preview this book

    Art: History: Visual: Culture

    edited and introduced, Blackwell, Oxford , 2005, ISBN: 01405119659

    Visual culture and its relationships to art history have been the subject of vigorous debate in recent years. Contributions by Eugene Wang, Liz James, Adrian Randolph, Ruth Phillips, Zeynep Celik, David Lomas, Peter Osborne, and Jessica Dubow and Ruth Rosengarten revise and develop theories of visuality, looking and the gaze, considering vision in its relation to visuality and invisibility, the body, space, and the senses and analysing connections between visual culture and aesthetics and the senses from varied theoretical and philosophical perspectives.

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    Between Luxury and the Everyday. Decorative Arts in Eighteenth-Century France

    Co-edited with Katie Scott.Blackwell, Oxford,2005

    This collection of essays redefines the study of the decorative arts in eighteenth-century France . It includes broader accounts of the impact of Enlightenment philosophy in shaping the understanding of the 'decorative arts' alongside case studies of silks, furniture, and architecture, drawing on recent theories of the body and space. Alive to the everyday pleasures found in objects, furnishings and dress, the volume illuminates the material worlds of consumers, from the extravagance of the court to the more modest taste of middle-class families, linking these material worlds to political and social life.

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    Beyond the Frame: Feminism and Visual Culture, Britain 1850-1900

    Routledge, London and New York , 2000  

    Beyond the Frame rewrites the history of Victorian art toexplorethe relationships between feminism and visual culture in a period of heady excitement and political struggle. Artists were caught up in campaigns for women's enfranchisement, education and paid work, and many were drawn into controversies aboutsexuality. This richly documented and compelling study considers painting, sculpture, prints, photography, embroidery and comicdrawings as well as majorstyles such as Pre-Raphaelitism, Neo-Classicism and Orientalism. Drawing on critical theory and post-colonial studies to analyse the links between visual media, modernity and imperialism, Deborah Cherry argues that visual culture and feminism were intimately connected to the relations of power.


    Recent Essays

    'Spatial conversations: on the candy spills of Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Dia'logis Espaciais: os Derramamentos de caramelos de Felix Gonzalez Torres'

    in Transnational correspondence, special issue of Arte e Ensaios / Arts and Essays, 2007 published in Brazil in English and Portuguese, pp. 96-109

    The paper discuss some of Felix Gonzalez-Torres's candy spills. Most were producedin the early 1990s. Shown in international exhibitions, most notably this year's Venice Biennale where his art has been selected and curated for the American pavilion, what meanings might his works have for today, for transnational audiences, for a new century preoccupied by questions of mobility and migration, and characterised by cultural flows and encounters?   This paper explores the configurationsof amigratory aesthetics,triangulated between theUS , Cuba and Puerto Rico , within the global and the local circuits of art's exhibitions.

    'Statues in the Square, hauntings at the heart of empire'

    in Location, edited Deborah Cherry and Fintan Cullen, Wiley-Blackwell, US/UK, 2007 , pp.128-165   ISBN 1-4051-4694, and in Art History , 29:4.

    This essay offers a new account of that square in London by focusing on its statues and memorials.It considersthe installation and removal of statuary atthis landmark location, from the square'sinception in the earlynineteenthcentury,totheinstallation of military leaders in the nineteenth century, and the contemporary sculptures that have been temporarily sited on the 'fourth' plinth. In considering how the past, never uncontested and always conflicted, haunts the present and its spaces, it takes up   Freud's analysis of monuments as 'mnemic symbols' and   Jacques Derrida's writings on haunting to reflect on what the dead have to say to the living and on what the past imposes (and has already imposed) on the future.

    download article here

    'A Sea of Senses'

    in Right About Now , Art and Theory since the 1990s,   Valiz, Amsterdam , 2007edited by M.Schavemaker and M. Raiker, pp. 16-25, ISBN   0978 90 78088-17-2

    This essay discusses the candy spills of Felix Gonzalez -Torres

    'Introduction to Artistic Research'

    Grey Magazine , 2007, pp. 10-15

    'Visual culture, the sensory turn, and cultural translation'

    Jong Holland , 2007, pp. 28-31.

    This essay develops and extends my thinking on the debates about visual culture, by considering they are inflected by transnational and cross-cultural studies, and especially important recent debates in India about the historical and contemporary art of the sub-continent.

    'The Art of the Senses and the Making of a Diasporan Aesthetic: Zarina Bhimji's She Loved to Breathe Pure Silence.'

    Tessera , 32, 2003

    This essay, written on an exchange at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London , considers a single work in the collection, Zarina Bhimji's She Loved   to Breathe Pure Silence, reflecting on its past and its present . Once an installation of 4 hanging panels with spices scattered on the floor, it is now viewed on table stands in the Department of Photography. The material condition of the worktoo has changed with the passing of time. The essay considers the politics of race and ethnicity at the moment in which the work was produced, and the diasporan spatial and sense memories that it conjured as an installation. A later version elaborates on the relations between the images and text in the work.

    'Words and images in Zarina Bhimji's She Loved toBreathe -Pure Silence', 1987-2002.   Simulacrum, 2007 pp.14-18.

    'Images of Women in Pre-Raphaelite Art'

    and catalogue entries in Waking Dreams: The Art of the Pre-Raphaelites, ed. M.F. Watson, Delaware Art Museum/Associated University Presses 2005.

    This essay is accompanied by several catalogue essays on art by Elizabeth Siddal, Marie Spartali Stillman and others in the Delaware collections.


    'Going Places: Women Artists in Central London in the 1850s and 1860s'

    London Journal. 28:1, 73-96, 2004

    This essay takes issue with debates about the flaneur and the flaneuse, as well as discussing on women shoppers and walkers in 19c city, to set out a theoretically and historically informed account of middle-class women who criss-crossed London, on foot and by transport, in their practice as artists in the mid-nineteenth century. Drawing on recent theories of space, woman's look, and the body the essay examines the figure of the woman artist in thecity andthe spacesthat she inhabited.

    'On the Move: My Bed, 1998-99 [about Tracey Emin's My Bed']

    Chapter in The Art of Tracey Emin , eds, M. Merck and C. Townsend. 2002: ISBN   0500283850

    This essay examines an iconic work by Tracey Emin, My Bed, examining itsdifferent installations in Japan , USA , and inthe UK , whereit wassubmitted for the artist's entry for the Turner Prize. The essay contends that, despite the artist's distinctive anti-intellectual stance and against the grain of most critical writing about her, her art works are embedded in, shaped by and contribute to wider issues of migration, cultural transmission, and diaspora, that they engage in and contribute to an understanding of complex questions of cultural difference.

    'Troubling Presence: body, sound and space in installation art of the mid-1990s'

    Revue d'Art Canadienne (Canadian Art Journal) 25: 1-2, pp. 12-30.    2001 ISSN: 0315-9906

    The essay takes as its starting point a complex installation of images, objects and sounds by the Glaswegian-Ghanaian artist, Maud Sulter. Drawing comparison with works by Cornelia Parker, Mona Hatoum and Chila Kumari Burman, it discusses the ways in which sound shapes the perceptions and experience of the beholders of art, interacting with the physical and material properties of the spaces of installation. Taking issue with more recent theories of participation and social action, theessay argued that through sound, beholders enter the work of art, becoming complicit init, whether they wish to or not. It is argued that sound is supplementary to vision: through readings of Derrida's Restitutions the essay considers that sound both adds to and displaces the visual experience, unsettling and even undoing ocular forms of perception  

  • Publicaties


    • Cherry, D. (2013). With her Fingers on the Political Pulse: The Transnational Curating of Maud Sulter. In A. Dimitrakaki, & L. Perry (Eds.), Politics in a Glass Case: Feminism, Exhibition Cultures and Curatorial Transgressions (pp. 205-226). Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. [details]
    • Cherry, D. A. (2013). Stati d'alterazione: mappare la vita sociale delle opere d'arte: She loved to breathe - Pure Silence (1987-2012) di Zarina Bhimji. In P. Martore (Ed.), Tra memoria e oblio: Percorsi nella conservazione dell'arte contemporanea (pp. 210-228). Rome: Castelvecchi. [details]



    • Cherry, D. (2009). In a word: Pre-Raphaelite, Pre-Raphaelites, Pre-Raphaelitism. In M. Giebelhausen, & T. Barringer (Eds.), Writing the Pre-Raphaelites: text, context, subtext (pp. 17-51). Farnham: Ashgate. [details]


    • Cherry, D. (2007). Conversation pieces: about Mieke Bal. Art History, 30(4), 301-306. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8365.2007.00546.x [details]
    • Cherry, D. A. (2007). A Sea of Senses. In M. Schavemaker, & M. Rakier (Eds.), Right About Now: art & theory since the 1990's (pp. 16-25). Amsterdam: Valiz.
    • Cherry, D. A. (2007). Dia'logis Espaciais: os Derramamentos de caramelos de Felix Gonzales Torres. Arte e Ensaios / Art and Essays, 96-101.
    • Cherry, D. A. (2007). Spatial conversations: on the candy spills of Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Dialogis Espaciais: os Derramamentos de caramelos de Felix Gonzalez Torres. JOURNAL NOT IN LIST, 96-109.
    • Cherry, D. A. (2007). Statues in the Square, hauntings at the heart of empire. In D. A. Cherry, & F. Cullen (Eds.), Location US/Uk: Wiley-Blackwell.
    • Cherry, D., & Cullen, F. (2007). Spectacle and display: setting the terms. Art History, 30(4), 475-480. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8365.2007.00557.x [details]


    • Cherry, D. A. (2006). About Stephen Bann. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
    • Cherry, D. A. (2006). Visual culture, the sensory turn, and cultural translation. Jong Holland, 22(4), 28-31.


    • Cherry, D. (Ed.) (2014). The afterlives of monuments. London: Routledge. [details]


    • Cherry, D. (2013). Image-making with Jeanne Duval in mind: photoworks by Maud Sulter, 1989−2002. In M. Meskimmon, & D. Rowe (Eds.), Women, the arts and globalization: eccentric experience (pp. 145-168). (Rethinking Art's Histories). Manchester: Manchester University Press. [details]


    • Cherry, D. (2008). About Mieke Bal. Malden, MA [etc.]: Wiley-Blackwell. [details]
    • Cherry, D., & Cullen, F. (2008). Spectacle and display. Oxford: Blackwell. [details]


    • Cherry, D. (2007). Words and images in Zarina Bhimji's 'She loved to breathe - Pure silence' (1987-2002). Simulacrum, 15(2), 14-18. [details]
    • Cherry, D. A. (2007). Introduction to Artistic Research. Grey Magazine, 10-15.
    • Cherry, D., & Cullen, F. (2007). Location. Blackwell Publishing. [details]
    • Cherry, D., & Cullen, F. (2007). Special issue: Spectacle and display. (Art history; No. vol. 30, iss. 4). [London]: The Association of Art Historians. [details]



    • Macsotay Bunt, A. T. (2008). The human figure as method : study, sculpture and sculptors in the Academie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture (1725-1765). [details]
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
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