CFP for the panel "Blackness, Care, Love" at the College Art Association's 107th Annual Conference, held in New York City February 13-16, 2019
Submission Deadline: August 6, 2018
Blackness, care, and love in art. Initially, it may make sense to separate the terms: Blackness describes a state of being and a theoretical lens useable for situating relations of the social, not necessarily sensations, emotions or aesthetics. The category of “the black” may even be discordant to the creative or artistic. It might conflict with ideas of “the human,” if seeing and caring requires an exchange involving social recognition, subjecthood, or perhaps even love. But maybe love is just what “blackness” needs. “Love” offers both recognition and legitimation. When one is loved, the lover bestows an ongoing judgment—that the beloved should exist. In visual practices, artists examine desires and judgments with discernible intent. But there are shadows around notions of care and images of love—who has the authority to say whether a love relation is real or a fantasy (Berlant 2012)? Legacies of oppression make this question as much political as psychological, as much about subjectivity as about recurring signs, gestures and fantasies. If fantasies of blackness and gestures of love can be understood as processes, we may look at the ways in which process and substance are intimately connected and thereby outline politics of care. What are the mechanisms through which blackness, care, and love become encumbered by politics? Noting the dangers of mere performances of compassion and liberal senses of sentimentality and care, both of which abound in contemporary media, we ask: What expressions of care are best suited for seeing blackness and love together?