ISSUE #3 – 2021
The Black Artist Who Said “No”. Colonial Paris and the Art of Wilson Tiberio
The Brazilian Wilson Tiberio (ca. 1925–2005) was one of several artists of African descent who returned or first relocated to Paris after 1945. Traveling French West Africa on a bursary from the Musée de l’Homme in 1947/48, Tiberio would witness a region thoroughly imprinted by a late-stage colonial system. Recording the remaining visual culture of Vodun religion in Dahomey (Benin) and the forced labor operating the industrial limestone quarries in Senegal, Tiberio would return to Paris around 1948 to produce canvases on which he rerouted Western modernist pictorial tropes toward a contemporary depiction of colonized black subjectivity and environment. In doing so, this essay argues, Tiberio situated hitherto obscured subjects squarely within the visual representation of the Union Française.
Arzneimittel Vespertilio. Zur Fledermaus
in der mittelalterlichen Buchmalerei, insbesondere in den italienischen Tractatus de Herbis-Handschriften
In contrast to other cultures, European Christian civilization tends to have negative emotions towards the bat, which is now suspected of having caused the Coronavirus pandemic as a virus carrier. The bat has unusual properties, which have been noticed by naturalists since ancient times: It is the only flying mammal, no other animal lives in such large groups so close together, and it navigates in the dark. Although its negative interpretation in Christianity is rooted in the Bible, it is only from ca. 1280 that it appears in art often entangled with devils and demons. The current article focuses on texts and images, especially in book illumination, in which a positive or neutral view of the animal can be found. Of particular interest is the bat in pharmacopoeia and its appearance in Italian herbaria of the fourteenth century.
Near Painting. Caravaggio, Beuys, and Unformed Style
This essay proposes a new definition of style by thinking it apart from form. It takes the concept of air – a formless substance that exists between artworks and between them and their makers – to what contains style. Some artworks collapse the difference between what exists within their border or frame and the life around them; they redirect the place of style from the material container of the artwork to life itself, more specifically the life of the artist. The essay argues that Caravaggio and his early seventeenth-century critics were instrumental in defining air as that which flows in and out of depiction. Caravaggio’s works functioned as a score from which style could be “played” or enacted. But the essay concludes that this interpretation of Caravaggio’s art and life gains focus from the perspective of Joseph Beuys, whose scores for performances, too, pointed to the position of style near painting.
Trauma eines deutschen Künstlers.
Lovis Corinths Luther-Zyklus von 1920/21
From the perspective of political iconography, this article takes a rather unusual view on a group of graphic works by the German secessionist Lovis Corinth. Martin Luther, whom Corinth honored in an extensive graphic cycle in 1921, is a figure in German religious and national history who played a significant role as a paragon of manliness in the formation of the German nation-state. As the epitome of the German man who stood out for his firmness of faith, steadfastness, and will to fight, Luther was also a suitable model for Corinth himself, who wished for a better reality, especially in the disastrous situation after the First World War.
Keeping Distance. Notes on Video-Mediated Communication during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly changed communication practices, as physical proximity has been curtailed in order to deal with a global pandemic. For many, video-mediated communication has replaced face-to-face meetings, as work, education and leisure activities have been moved online. While video-mediated communication has a longer history, we are witnessing an unprecedented scale and scope of video-mediated interactions. These affect established ecologies of social interaction, and participants need to learn and negotiate novel stocks of knowledge for appropriate ways of being together. While in public discussions many lament the lack of face-to-face interactions with those dear to us, it is argued that video-mediated communication tends to socially sort our interactions towards those we already know, or towards those who are introduced to us via trusted intermediaries: it is much less amenable to the unexpected, and hence to the valuing of diversity in our social encounters.
Pia Rudolph, Im Garten der Gesundheit. Pflanzenbilder zwischen Natur, Kunst und Wissen in gedruckten Kräuterbüchern des 15. Jahrhunderts, Göttingen 2020
Laura Moretti, In the House of the Muses. Collection, Display, and Performance in the Veronese Palace of Mario Bevilacqua (1536-93), Turnhout 2020
Sandra Braune und Jürgen Müller (Hrsg.), Alltag als Exemplum. Religiöse und profane Deutungsmuster der frühen Genrekunst, Berlin 2020
Christiane Hertel, Siting China in Germany. Eighteenth-Century Chinoiserie and Its Modern Legacy, University Park, PA 2019