ISSUE #2 – 2021
Anti-päpstliche und anti-islamische Tendenzen in den Stuttgarter Apokalypse-Tafeln und anderen Apokalypsen der neapolitanischen Anjou-Dynastie. Historischer Kontext und franziskanische Exegese
Anti-Papal and Anti-Islamic Tendencies in the Stuttgart Apocalypse Panels and Other Apocalypses of the Neapolitan Anjou Dynasty. Historical Context and Franciscan Exegesis
The two Apocalypse panels in Stuttgart, probably made for the Anjou king Robert of Anjou, called the Wise (1309–1343), have an exceptional position in the panorama of medieval Apocalypse imagery. They constitute the oldest extant narrative example of a specific Italian tradition of Apocalypse cycles, which probably started with Giotto’s lost frescoes in the Neapolitan church Santa Chiara. Above all, the Stuttgart panels are unique among the medieval Apocalypse cycles, being based on a combination of six different exegetical texts, in particular various Apocalypse commentaries studied here for the first time in relation to the panels. Corresponding to the historical interpretation by the contemporary Franciscans Petrus Aureoli and Nicholas of Lyra as well as the older Alexander Minorita, the larger part of the exegetically inspired scenes is directed against Muslims and especially Turks, then considered the major enemies of the Christians. The main theme concerns the person of Robert the Wise, in particular his theological and political conflict with Pope John XXII in 1333, the year in which the panels were probably created.
Linien und Umwege. Byzanz, Nation und der Kanon der Kunstgeschichte im deutschsprachigen Raum
Lines and Detours. Byzantium, Nation, and the Canon of Art History in the German-Speaking World
The article explores the marginalization of Byzantium within the canon of art history, focusing on the German-speaking tradition. This peripheral role is particularly striking because art history’s attempts to integrate the Roman East into the canon (the “Byzantine question”) can be traced back to the beginnings of art history as an academic discipline. From very early on, art historians have been interested in global art histories beyond the confines of the West, a disposition that has increased exponentially in recent decades. By investigating the historiography of Byzantine art history, the ideology of nationalism, and modern concepts of time and history, this article demonstrates that both the canon and the nation-state were born of concepts of the linear, teleological flow of time during the Enlightenment. The article argues that the “Byzantine question”, the integration of the Eastern Roman Empire into the canon, had always been doomed to fail. The reason for this is the linear, teleological structure both of modern temporality and of the canon – one that does not allow detours, only branches. Byzantium, with its close connections to the Western traditions, has long troubled this narrative and therefore serves as a lens through which to address questions of decentering and the position of other non-Western cultures in relation to the Western canon.
Tempus/Modus. Candida Höfer, Türken in Deutschland 1979
This article explores Candida Höfer’s photographic slide-show Türken in Deutschland (1979) and its 2011 digital version with the new title Türken in Deutschland 1979. It analyzes temporality, changes in media installation and their effects on the artwork’s meanings. Attention focuses on the historic and medial differences – between the 1970s and the 2010s as well as between analogue and digital projection – that are the results of processes of translation. It is argued that by reworking the piece, Höfer undertakes an actualization as well as a historicization of her work, first realized as a series of slides, then of digital copies. The artistic gesture of changing media and title are mutually dependent on and constitutive of each other. They productively disrupt the coherence of the work and emphasize the time passed between the two versions as well as the artwork’s mode of expression.
Restoring Beauty to Politics. Working towards a distinction between Art and Political Activism against the backdrop of the Centre for Political Beauty
This paper explores the attempts of the political activist group Centre for Political Beauty to restore beauty to politics. While the Centre for Political Beauty claims that their performances can be traced back to the multimedia artist Christoph Schlingensief, my contention is that their self-understanding as artists is problematic. By approaching selected interventions against the backdrop of their respective contexts in the history of the avant-garde, I develop criteria facilitating a differentiation between protest art and political activism. I posit that protest art, in contrast to political activism, need not be driven by a goal-oriented artistic intention, and must possess openness as a strategy. Rather than aiming at a direct pedagogical or educational effect on the audience, protest art desires to open up a dialogue between the artwork and the audience. The way in which shame operates in the interventions of the Centre for Political Beauty calls into question whether their interventions actually allow for the open and dialogical engagement that is promoted by protest art.
What Can a Face Do? Notes on the work of the portraitist Elizabeth Peyton
This article acts as a commentary on the portraits created by the American artist Elizabeth Peyton since the early 1990s. It focuses on Peyton’s numerous disclosures on her own work and correlates these introspections with an analysis of the paintings themselves, insisting on the inherent dynamics of this specific genre. It transpires that Peyton’s belief in the supposed legibility of the face, her faith in physiognomics is foiled by the resulting work itself. Rather than exposing their subjects, her portraits seem to protect them and the act of making art appears to succeed in its claim to allow pure painting to emerge.
Ivan Foletti and Klára Doležalová (eds.), The Notion of Liminality and the Medieval Sacred Space, Turnhout 2020
Jonathan Bober, Piero Boccardo, Franco Boggero, Peter Lukehart, and Andrea Zanini (eds.), A Superb Baroque. Art in Genoa 1600–1750, Princeton, NJ/Oxford 2020
David Joselit, Heritage and Debt. Art in Globalization, Cambridge, MA 2020
Soft Archaeologies. Operations, Transformations, Inventories Exhibition review: Bilderfahrzeuge (Image Vehicles). A Peter Jacobi Retrospective, National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC), Bucharest, 11 December 2020 – 28 March 2021