International Congress Disoriented. Gender Territories in Contemporary Art

The International Congress Disoriented. Gender Territories in Contemporary Art organized by the University of Málaga, Spain,seeks to rethink and disorient, from a feminist and LGTBIQ+ perspective, those axes and coordinates which articulate discourses, exhibitions and other aspects of the contemporary art system and practices. These axes and coordinates organize our understanding of practices and systems, spatial and geographically, as well as from a discourse and metaphoric perspective: they define which artists are considered relevant and which are not; who is included or excluded; and what are the cardinal directions and conceptual questions chosen to define each agent or practice. Because each North can become the South of a more northern North, and every South is, in fact, the North for another South. Therefore, we find crucial to question and disorient, even to lose this kind of references, to overcome those voids and obstacles that might be impeding the emergence of alternative knowledges.

On the one hand, we will focus on textual discourses of historiography, art critic and artist’s writings, analysing how discourses are constructed and how they connect with artworks. By doing this we intend to actively lose the way of the canon, to disorient its frame from a feminist perspective, in order to underline those practices that find themselves outside legitimation centres, specially to the work of women and peripheral artists. We will also pay special attention to situated networks that allow us to consider other practices, collectives and/or materials.

On the other hand, we will look for a feminist disorientation in exhibition spaces, since these are spaces of encounter for art and publics, and therefore generate meanings and signifiers. We will welcome proposals focused on exhibitions related to women, feminism and LGTBQI+ issues, the analysis of their receptions and readings. In this line, we will accept studies of discourses promoted by museum collections and their ways of collecting; of structures created to integrate art in public space or media formats. All this will both include a feminist or queer critique to the ways in which such discourses exclude specific collectives, artists and practices, and the reactions and resistance that arise towards these discourses.

In order to respond to these approaches, we will accept proposals along the following lines of research, among other related ones:

• Critical analysis of the influence that artistic hegemonic discourses shaped and emitted from the centers have exerted on what they feel distant and alien, what they consider peripheral, traversed by gender, the exotic or delocalized.

• Political re-significations of images and objects that offer re-readings of the clichés and discourses on the female other, the Islamic and Muslim other, the African other, or all kinds of identities outside heteronormative patterns.

• Feminist critical and constructive contributions that, from places distant from the centers of artistic legitimization, bring forward deconstructions of the hegemonic structures and provide visions of potential novel approaches, weaving situated networks.

• Relationships between artists, specially women, and non-hegemonic systems that, because of being interpreted as peripheral, have not been studied relevantly. For example, networks for the exchange of writings and ways of making history and, potentially, for the creation of new art theories, as alternatives to the canonical ones.

• Vindication and valorization of the so-called “lesser arts” and other forms of artistic expression that, for being considered feminine or exotic, have been relegated from the hegemonic and institutional discourses.

• Artistic and cultural practices that articulate other ways of understanding, presenting, caring for and living in the environment, taking into account both its conditions and those who inhabit it, both humans and non-humans.

• Studies on other modes of reception and articulation, paying special attention to the presence of bodies and embodied senses.

• Discursive analyses of exhibitions that raise issues associated to feminism, women and LGTBIQ+ artists, postcoloniality and diverse sexualities, in order to try to understand if they are able to produce unprecedented and disoriented coordinates, or if they reiterate the already existing center-periphery axes.

• Curatorial and programming proposals that create collaborative networks to reframe the heteropatriarchal and centralist logic of the art system, or that subvert canonical discourses from situated, local, feminist and queer perspectives.


Submission of proposals / modality

The proposed abstracts will have a maximum of 300 words in the accepted languages (English, Italian, French and Spanish). Proposals should be sent via email to

Conference languages

Spanish, English, Italian and French.


• Proposal submission (abstract): September 1 to November 1st, 2022.

• Communication of acceptance: December 2nd, 2022.

• Submission of written proposals (near-final draft with a maximum of 8000 words): 25 April 2023.

• Congress: from 25 to 27 may 2023 Málaga (Spain).