When I got the call for abstracts for a conference on Frames and Framings, I felt like this would be the perfect opportunity to research the topic in more depth and approach it from the perspective of street art. The surfaces of the built environment are frames for street art and graffiti, I argued, and presented three different instances of this process:
The paper was well received, although it stood in considerable contrast with the art historical approaches of other participants, who talked about things like Italian Renaissance frames (Harriet O’Neill, UCL/National Gallery); rope ornaments used for framing church doors (Jens Fleischer, University of Copenhagen) or different depictions of St John the Baptist in early modern painting (Barbara Baert, University of Leuven).
There were also a few papers which treated contemporary themes, like that of my co-panelist architect Açalya Allmer (Dokuz Eylul University), who talked about frames in architecture and buildings-as-frames – including the Dubai frame building project which you can see here; or Taisuke Edamura (University of Essex) and his research on glass in contemporary art.
Overall, this conference was a great experience, and I learned a lot from being in the company of art historians and looking at their concepts and research tools. A special thank you goes out to the organisers Gunhild Borggreen (University of Copenhagen), Slavko Cacunko (University of Copenhagen) and Ellen Harlizius-Klück (Gerda-Henkel Foundation), who gave us a very warm welcome and made sure everything worked in a highly professional manner.
I will finish off with the one of the first tastes I got of Denmark and Copenhagen, while waiting for the train to take me from the airport to Central Station. If there’s one thing I want to say about the Danish capital, it is how much I respect its lack of censorship, which becomes apparent in many different forms…