Launch of Di’van | A Journal of Accounts – Art, Culture, Theory


Conceived to offer critical interpretations of contemporary visual art and its broader art historical, theoretical and socio-political contexts, Di’van | A Journal of Accounts will focus on the Asia-Pacific, South Asia, Middle East and North Africa regions.

Edited by Alan Cruickshank, and produced in partnership with University of New South Wales Faculty of Art & Design, the biannual Di’van | A Journal of Accounts presents extended analysis of international contemporary visual art and its multiple contexts, engaging both new and established voices and addressing a broad national and international audience of readers.

The journal is supported by an international editorial advisory group comprising 24 eminent biennale curators and artistic directors, gallery directors, curators, art historians and art critics, academics and artists from across the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, Europe and Australia.

Divan: from the Persian dīwān, an account book; origin dēvan, booklet; also related to debir, writer; evolved through a book of poems, collection of literary passages, an archive, book of accounts and collection of sheets to an assembly, office of accounts, custom house, government bureau or councils chamber, to a long, cushioned seat, which in this sense entered European languages. Di’van presents a apposite shift of content and meaning over time coexistent with evolving historical relationships between the East and West.

International biennale curators, cultural theorists and art critics Nancy Adajania and Ranjit Hoskote have said, “I love the title. It has many connotations, that of a plenitude of narratives, but also of accountability—political, aesthetic and ethical,” (Adajania), and “what a beautiful, resonant title—invoking, at once, a collection of poems, a canon in the making, Goethe’s idea of a Weltliteratur via the West-ostliche Divan, and Said-Barenboim! We are delighted!” (Hoskote)

Professor Ross Harley, co-publisher and Dean of the University of New South Wales Faulty of Art & Design, said “UNSW is committed to diversity and multiple perspectives. Di’van looks beyond and outside tradtional centres such as Europe and North America and seeks to examine often overlooked cultures, territories and geographies.”

Professor Nikos Papastergiadis, School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne, author and critic has highlighted that Di’van will, “not only be a vital stimulus to debates within Australia but also serve as a crucial bridge to our region and establish a much needed perspective for the wider art world.”

Writers for the inaugural issue include; Stephanie Bailey, Anthony Downey and Paul Gladston (UK), Vali Mahlouji (UK/Iran), Ala Younis (Jordan), Djon Mundine and Chari Larsson (Australia), Yao Souchou (Malaysia/Australia), Martin Suryajaya (Indonesia) and Erman Ata Uncu (Turkey).

Di’van will be distributed at key global art events such as Art Dubai and Global Art Forum, Sharjah Biennial, and Art Basel Hong Kong.

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