Data limite: 30 de Abril
Munich, Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte München, 23. – 24.03.2017.
Art history has always been fluid. Already shortly before 1400, Filippo Villani wrote that modern painting coursed “like small brooks” from the “inexhaustible wellspring” of Giotto. Not long thereafter, it was determined that one required the special “influence” of the stars to be predestined for outstanding giftedness as an artist. For Winckelmann, the Classics exert an “influence”, for Semper, material, and for Albert Ilg, the co-editor of the Quellenschriften zur Kunstgeschichte, technique. With Arcisse du Caumont begin the countless flow charts of cultural-artistic “currents”.
Art history freely availed itself of aquatic metaphors during its beginnings, but liquid analogies appear to have only grown more fluid with time. This is because critical engagement with the history of science and methods of art history has had, up to this point, little meaning for the reflective use of such expressions, figures of speech, and conceptual models. Despite important impulses for the debate (Michael Baxandall, Harold Bloom, Christopher Wood), the problem has never been comprehensively thematized. Rather, the issue of aquatic metaphors has become a point of discussion in two main instances: when stylistic choices contradict the overarching dynamic of “influence”, or when, in the place of postulates about origins, more complex notions of time and effects or more sophisticated means for contextualizing artworks need to be developed. The liquid metaphors of “origins”, “influence”, “currents”, and “sources”, and fluid in the broadest sense fizz in the 20th and 21st century more vitally than ever—at least according to the sheer quantity of book and article titles that employ these terms. Artists have contributed to this “aquatic turn”, too: for instance, in the Fluxus Movement that has, since the 1960s, made the boundaries between art and life “fluid”, or in the leading theme of the latest Biennale in Istanbul: “Salt Water”.
The present Colloquium seeks to examine aquatic metaphors and conceptual models in art history in relation to one another. Four main fields of inquiry are anticipated: 1. For what reasons and in what (argumentative) contexts were these expressions, concepts, and visualizations originally made available to art history? How do they develop, and from what other areas of human knowledge can they be adapted? 2. What do aquatic metaphors deliver, and where do they impede other productive approaches to research? How must art history confront this in the future? 3. How might we locate and understand these concepts in the framework of metaphors and models for lifeworlds, science, and especially art history? Are there supplementary, complementary, or concurrent approaches? And do other disciplines that concern themselves with
artifacts and the visual employ similar metaphors and conceptual models? 4. How have these aquatic concepts interacted with the thinking and actions of artists? Do they condense, on a notional or visual level, in concrete works, or are they, by contrast, fostered or influenced by such works?
Travel and hotel costs will be covered for speakers.

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