Hybrid event: Class of ‘78 Pavilion, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, University of Pennsylvania and on Zoom
About the Symposium
Andy Warhol (1928-1987) is one of the most famous and influential artists of the twentieth century, and a vast global literature about Warhol and his work exists. Yet almost nothing has been written about the role of translations of his words, and those of his critics, in his international reputation. “Translating Warhol” aims to fill this gap, developing the topic in multiple directions and in the context of the reception of Warhol’s work in various countries. The numerous translations of Warhol’s writings, words, and ideas offer a fertile case study of how American art was, and is, viewed from the outside.
The contemporary artist Ai Weiwei has often said that the first book he read in English, when he came from China to the U.S. in the early 1980s, was The Philosophy of Andy Warhol because it was easy for a non-English speaker to understand. A closer look—the kind afforded by the intimacy of translation—offers a different picture, however. With its double meanings, ambiguities, paradoxes, now-obscure cultural references, and slang, Warhol’s book creates challenges of comprehension even for someone whose first language is English. “Translating Warhol” explores the fascinating questions of interpretation raised by these challenges. Linguistic as well as other forms of translation are considered. “Translating Warhol” is the first study of the history and implications of the numerous translations of Warhol, revealing, for example, how Warhol’s queer identity has been either concealed or emphasized through the process of translation, or how translation has affected the presentation of his political and social positions and attitudes.
A complementary exhibition, “Translations of Warhol,” featuring published translations of the artist’s words, is on view June 20-July 1 in the Snyder-Granader Study Alcove at the Kislak Center. This exhibition features a sampling of books and interviews by Warhol and his collaborators that are discussed in the symposium.
“Translating Warhol” is free and open to the public. Registration is required.
Thursday, June 23, 2022
4:00pm: Symposium check-in opens
4:30-5:15pm: Optional in-person curatorial tour of Andy Warhol @ Penn Again exhibitions
Register for the optional curatorial tour
5:30-5:45 pm: Welcome, Sean Quimby, Associate University Librarian and Director of the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, and Director of the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies, University of Pennsylvania; introduction of keynote speaker, Reva Wolf, Professor of Art History, State University of New York at New Paltz
5:45-7:00 pm: Keynote address, Warhol in French, Jean-Claude Lebensztejn, Honorary Professor, University of Paris I—Pantheon-Sorbonne (read by Pierre Von-Ow, PhD student, Yale University)
Register for the Thursday keynote (attending in person)
Register for the Thursday keynote (attending virtually, on Zoom)
7:00-8:00 pm: Reception
Friday, June 24, 2022
Register for the Friday symposium (attending in person)
Register for the Friday symposium (attending virtually, on Zoom)
8:30-9:30 am: Coffee and continental breakfast
9:30-9:40 am: Welcome, David McKnight, Director, The Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and Curator of Manuscripts, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania Libraries
9:40-10:00 am: Introduction, Translating Warhol: Turbamento, Transmutation, Transference, Reva Wolf, Professor of Art History, State University of New York at New Paltz
10:00-11:00 am: PANEL 1—WARHOL IN NORTHERN EUROPE AND ENGLAND, moderated by David McKnight, Kislak Center, University of Pennsylvania
Warhol in Translation, Stockholm 1968: “Many Works and Few Motifs,” Annika Öhrner, Associate Professor of Art History, Södertörn University, Stockholm
Translating Warhol for Television: Andy Warhol’s America, Jean Wainwright, Professor of Contemporary Art and Photography, University for the Creative Arts, Surrey, UK
11:00-11:30 am: Coffee break
11:30 am-12:30 pm: PANEL 2—WARHOL IN GERMANY AND ITALY, moderated by Ann E. Moyer, Professor of History, Director of the Center for Italian Studies, and Co-Executive Editor, Journal of the History of Ideas, University of Pennsylvania
Schnecken, Schlitzmonger, and Poltergeist: Andy Warhol in German—Translations and Cultural Context, Nina Schleif, Curator of Prints and Drawings, Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München
La Filosofia di Andy Warhol and the Turmoil of Art in Italy, 1983, Francesco Guzzetti, Senior Lecturer of Art History, Università degli Studi di Firenze
12:30-2:00 pm: Lunch break
2:00-3:00 pm: PANEL 3—TRANSMUTATION, TRANSFORMATION, AND THEORIES OF TRANSLATION, moderated by Kathryn Hellerstein, Ruth Meltzer Director of the Jewish Studies Program and Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures, University of Pennsylvania
Andy and Julia in Rusyn: Warhol’s Translation of his Mother in Film and Video, Elaine Rusinko, Associate Professor Emerita of Russian, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Translating Texts, Translating Readers: Could Andy Warhol’s Writings Be Translated into Indian Languages? Deven M. Patel, Associate Professor, Department of South Asia Studies, University of Pennsylvania
3:00-3:30 pm: Coffee break
3:30-4:30 pm: Round table with all the speakers
4:30-5:30 pm: Reception
You may contact the symposium team with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Penn Libraries and the program organizers are grateful to the Terra Foundation for American Art for its generous support of the symposium.
About the Terra Foundation for American Art
The Terra Foundation for American Art supports individuals, organizations, and communities to advance expansive understandings of American art. Established in 1978 and headquartered in Chicago, with an office in Paris, the Terra Foundation is committed to fostering cross-cultural dialogues on American art locally, nationally, and internationally, through its grant program, collection, and initiatives.