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Arts, Volume 12, Issue 3 (June 2023) – 41 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): This research explores the figurative culture that flourished in Sicily during the 12th and 13th centuries, focusing on the interplay between artifacts of different types, materials, techniques and uses. Paintings, sculptures and objects that share a common visual language are analyzed with the aim of highlighting mutual influences and related sources. The main focus is on the decorative apparatus of Ms. 52 (Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional de España), one of the most famous illuminated manuscripts from Sicily. The date, origin and patronage of this luxurious liturgical book have been the subject of intense scholarly debate. This study re-examines the various hypotheses considered by scholars, taking into account the historical events that affected Sicily from the end of the Norman to the beginning of the Swabian era.  View this paper
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47 pages, 22906 KiB  
Article
Axes in the Funerary Ceremonies of the Northern Pontic Scythians
by Marina Daragan and Sergei Polin
Arts 2023, 12(3), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030124 - 20 Jun 2023
Viewed by 2033
Abstract
Axes were rare among the Scythians but are occasionally found in Scythian kurgans. Like other weapons, axes had practical as well as social and religious roles. The Scythians not only placed axes in burials as burial gifts, but also used them at various [...] Read more.
Axes were rare among the Scythians but are occasionally found in Scythian kurgans. Like other weapons, axes had practical as well as social and religious roles. The Scythians not only placed axes in burials as burial gifts, but also used them at various stages of the funeral ritual. This article considers several hitherto unknown, highly unusual archaeological contexts featuring axes. These contexts show that axes were used in the ritual preceding the excavation of the grave; they completed the ritual before the filling of the grave; and they were included in the final sealing of the burial. In addition to the ritual implications of Scythian axes found in kurgan burials, this article considers the meaning of the representations of related artifacts on Scythian metalwork, as well as on the coins of Kerkinitis and Olbia. A bronze votive axe similar to the one from L’vovo Kurgan 18, Burial 2 is shown on Olbian Borysthenes coins, indicating a permanent relationship between the city and the Scythians, perhaps in the form of paying tribute (“gifts”) to the Scythians. The dating of Olbian Borysthenes coinage is also discussed. Full article
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15 pages, 316 KiB  
Article
Experimental Institutionalism and Radical Statecraft: Art in Autonomous Social Centres and Self-Managed Cultural Occupations in Rome
by Aria Spinelli
Arts 2023, 12(3), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030123 - 12 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1546
Abstract
This article analyses experimental institutionalism in the city of Rome, focusing on artistic practices of the C.S.O.A. Centro Sociale Autonomo Occupato (Squatted Autonomous Social Centre) Forte Prenestino and the three-year occupation of Valle theatre, Teatro Valle Occupato. In scholarly research on art institutionalism, [...] Read more.
This article analyses experimental institutionalism in the city of Rome, focusing on artistic practices of the C.S.O.A. Centro Sociale Autonomo Occupato (Squatted Autonomous Social Centre) Forte Prenestino and the three-year occupation of Valle theatre, Teatro Valle Occupato. In scholarly research on art institutionalism, artistic practices in squatted spaces are often overlooked. While the 1990s European wave of experimental institutionalism transformed the concept of an art museum or art institution into a processed-based, community-oriented, and participatory platform, in Rome, the collectives of activists and artists used more autonomous endeavours, such as processes of instituting, to affirm how artistic practices’ use of radical imagination can foster collective agency, creativity, and radical statecraft. In the following, radical statecraft is understood as a political act that reclaims and creates anew institutional infrastructures. Teatro Valle Occupato’s experimental cultural institution of the commons at the 17th-century theatre Valle from 2012 to 2015, and the projects of artists and musicians of the European underground cultural hub C.S.O.A. Forte Prenestino at the squatted 19th-century military fort in the working-class, peripheric neighbourhood of Centocelle, are crucial examples of artistic, cultural, and institutional experimentation, whereby artistic and cultural practices foster social relationships based on freedom, mutualism, solidarity, and the commons. In both cases, the contingency to grassroots politics forged the desire and imagination to either create anew or carve out a social space. By reclaiming spaces in which art is used as a means of radical statecraft, these practices reimagine society fostering non-market-driven social relationships becoming pivotal in the struggles against the neoliberal turn in Italy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Autonomy in Art)
11 pages, 2206 KiB  
Article
Rupture and Disruption: Reflections on “Making” and “Knowing” Dance
by Hari Krishnan
Arts 2023, 12(3), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030122 - 12 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1744
Abstract
This essay follows a somewhat unconventional approach to writing about Indian dance in the diaspora. I say “unconventional” because it unfolds as a kind of self-reflexive narration of my own journey as a “doubly diasporic” Indian dancer, born in Singapore but having made [...] Read more.
This essay follows a somewhat unconventional approach to writing about Indian dance in the diaspora. I say “unconventional” because it unfolds as a kind of self-reflexive narration of my own journey as a “doubly diasporic” Indian dancer, born in Singapore but having made my career in North America. In essence, I map my own unconventional paths to understanding Indian dance in the diaspora, outside the tired and troublesome idea of “dance as heritage”. The aim of this critical meditation on my own work is to offer up new possibilities for moving Indian dance into progressive conceptual spaces that direct it out of the discursive field of cultural nationalism that frames the idea of “heritage”. Full article
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16 pages, 322 KiB  
Article
Between Estrangement at Home and Marginalization by the Host: Tracing Senses of Belonging through Music
by Chrysi Kyratsou
Arts 2023, 12(3), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030121 - 8 Jun 2023
Viewed by 4088
Abstract
This article discusses the twofold role of music as a means to manifest border-induced (cultural) difference and simultaneously foster alternative modes of belonging. The author draws on her ethnographic research, consisting of participant observation, desktop research, and interviews, and reflects on her auto-ethnographic [...] Read more.
This article discusses the twofold role of music as a means to manifest border-induced (cultural) difference and simultaneously foster alternative modes of belonging. The author draws on her ethnographic research, consisting of participant observation, desktop research, and interviews, and reflects on her auto-ethnographic recordings of engaging with refugee musicians. The discussion unfolds around vignettes that exemplify moments of musical encounters among refugees and between refugees and people from the host society. The vignettes are narrated from the refugee interlocutors’ point of view, who are engaged in the musicking instances as listeners and musicians. The article discusses how they devise music to cope with their estrangement from home and to articulate narratives of belonging. It illuminates how refugees challenge stereotyped representations of themselves, reinforcing the terms under which they can become “visible” and “audible.” Finally, the article argues that refugees’ narratives suggest understandings of reality as a continuum in ways that challenge the linear reifications produced by nation-state bordering practices and displacement-induced ruptures These understandings are embedded in music’s mobilities and their intersections with human movement, informal networks, and the cultural industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arts and Refugees: Multidisciplinary Perspectives (Vol. 2))
12 pages, 278 KiB  
Article
Apopcalypse: The Popularity of Heavy Metal as Heir to Apocalyptic Artifacts
by Jörg Scheller
Arts 2023, 12(3), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030120 - 6 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1934
Abstract
This paper examines the heavy metal genre as a popular form of apocalypticism, i.e., as a warning reminder or “premediation” of potentially (large-scale) lethal crises. By confronting the audience with disturbing, seemingly exaggerated scenarios of disease, chaos, war, and horror, heavy metal builds [...] Read more.
This paper examines the heavy metal genre as a popular form of apocalypticism, i.e., as a warning reminder or “premediation” of potentially (large-scale) lethal crises. By confronting the audience with disturbing, seemingly exaggerated scenarios of disease, chaos, war, and horror, heavy metal builds barriers in popular culture against what philosopher Günther Anders has called “apocalyptic blindness.” The genre, then, offers a kind of “aesthetic resilience training” particularly in relatively stable and peaceful times, when large-scale crises seem unlikely or, in the case of global nuclear war, exceed in their sheer dimension the human imagination. What connects traditional religious apocalyptic artifacts such as the Book of Revelation with heavy metal is a specific appeal to the popular. Apocalyptic artifacts and their contemporary secular heirs lend themselves well to popularization because of their strong affective and aesthetic sides, as the Revelation and its many ramifications in popular culture, not least in heavy metal, demonstrate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives on Pop Culture)
21 pages, 7602 KiB  
Article
Shared Brains, Proprioceptiveness, and Critically Approaching the Animal as the Animal in Artworks
by Angela Bartram and Lee Deigaard
Arts 2023, 12(3), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030119 - 6 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1412
Abstract
The animal and being animal is a proposition and position that invites observational and critical debate. Yet, the presence of the non-human animal is usually and normatively confined to representational artworks rather than the animal itself in the gallery or museum, which is, [...] Read more.
The animal and being animal is a proposition and position that invites observational and critical debate. Yet, the presence of the non-human animal is usually and normatively confined to representational artworks rather than the animal itself in the gallery or museum, which is, potentially, problematically anthropocentric. Using diverse methods, processes, and materials, and curious to a myriad of opening potentialities, Bartram + Deigaard, in contrast to this problem, explore working as humans from an animal-centric perspective through artistic research. They bring sensitivities to their handling of the animal, as both artistic subject and collaborator, to observe and engage with empathy and openness to animal insight and revelation and behaviour. Their works in performance, video, drawing, and printmaking foreground animal proximity and behaviour, inter-species proprioception, reciprocal caretaking, synchronised respiration, and companionate movement. This article explores the socialised and familiar in close observation, directly and indirectly, in their individual yet companion practices, illuminating the benefits of a radically enlarged sentiocentrism. It reflects on the allowing and embracing of other species within their artworks, and of being mindful and sensible with balancing sympathies and empathies as humans within an often unbalanced system of agency. Specifically, it gleans patterns and insights from their exhibition at Tippetts and Eccles Galleries at Utah State University in 2021, where they invited a canine collaborator into their thinking through praxis and the interventions and residual outcomes this created. This essay discusses two individual video artworks from each artist, which document their invitations to non-human animals into the gallery or museum, and two durational artworks curated within this exhibition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Art and Animals and the Ethical Position)
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30 pages, 71078 KiB  
Article
Atlantic Masters: Three Early Modern Afro-Brazilian Artists
by Miguel A. Valerio
Arts 2023, 12(3), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030118 - 2 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2156
Abstract
Brazil received the largest number of Africans enslaved into the Americas: nearly five million by some estimates. Thus, Brazil became the world’s largest slavocracy. But slavery was not the only experience available to Africans and Brazilians of African descent in slavery-era Brazil. Numerically, [...] Read more.
Brazil received the largest number of Africans enslaved into the Americas: nearly five million by some estimates. Thus, Brazil became the world’s largest slavocracy. But slavery was not the only experience available to Africans and Brazilians of African descent in slavery-era Brazil. Numerically, Afro-Brazilians dominated the arts in colonial Brazil. However, very few of those artists and artisans, many of whom were enslaved, are known by name today. Free Afro-Brazilian artists, such as Aleijadinho, Mestre Valentim, and Teófilo de Jesus, on the other hand, fared far better. In this article, I turn to these three mixed-race artists’ works and what little is known of their lives, not only as exemplary Afro-Brazilian artists but also as some of the most important artists of Brazil’s late colonial period, where they had the greatest impact on the artistic developments in their home regions. These artists’ careers thus illustrate how artists of African descent contributed to and defined urban and sacred spaces in the early modern Atlantic. This is therefore an invitation to look at Afrodescendants’ role in early modern art beyond the anonymity of slavery and static representation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Black Artists in the Atlantic World)
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13 pages, 3375 KiB  
Article
Home: Photographs by Lim Sokchanlina and Yoppy Pieter
by Akshatha Rangarajan
Arts 2023, 12(3), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030117 - 2 Jun 2023
Viewed by 2098
Abstract
Photography by Cambodian artist Lim Sokchanlina (b.1987) in his National Road Number 5 series and Indonesian artist Yoppy Pieter’s (b.1984) Saujana Sumpu series interpret the notion of placemaking. Sokchanlina and Pieter portray a fraught relationship between place and identity, integrating a sense of [...] Read more.
Photography by Cambodian artist Lim Sokchanlina (b.1987) in his National Road Number 5 series and Indonesian artist Yoppy Pieter’s (b.1984) Saujana Sumpu series interpret the notion of placemaking. Sokchanlina and Pieter portray a fraught relationship between place and identity, integrating a sense of belonging integral to a residence and connecting the medium of photography with the appeal of a home. This article explores the conceptual and aesthetic strategies used by the artists to convey the personal and communal history of place in Cambodia and Indonesia. The artists explore a three-fold intent of place, as having a geographical presence, as an environment to conduct social relations, and as an entity encouraging inherent attachment, constantly shifting between the various connotations, creating intermediary nuances between the meanings. Their methodology of using placemaking to deconstruct the traditional model of a home using contemporary art with a community’s heritage creates a unique Southeast Asian identity. The interaction between people and spaces, the configuration of values and identities, and the manifestation of personal and collective memory consolidate the idea of placemaking with the aesthetics of home. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photographic Aesthetics of Home)
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13 pages, 843 KiB  
Article
Augmented Reality and the Dematerialization of Experiential Art
by Dawna Schuld
Arts 2023, 12(3), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030116 - 2 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1620
Abstract
One of the most compelling effects of digitally enhanced and digitally enabled immersive exhibitions is their paradoxical dematerialization of “analog” experience. What leads exhibition visitors to accept that immersion is a state achieved only through technological mediation? Are we not already perceptually immersed [...] Read more.
One of the most compelling effects of digitally enhanced and digitally enabled immersive exhibitions is their paradoxical dematerialization of “analog” experience. What leads exhibition visitors to accept that immersion is a state achieved only through technological mediation? Are we not already perceptually immersed in the world, as the phenomenologists asserted? This essay explores how digital enhancement disengages self-awareness by masquerading as immersion. In contrast, contemporary artists Karin Sander, Janet Cardiff, and Chris Salter employ desynchronizing and dislocating tactics to challenge naïve notions of what comprises an aesthetic experience, in order to requaint viewers with their own perceptual and ethical agency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Framing the Virtual: New Technologies and Immersive Exhibitions)
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20 pages, 12006 KiB  
Article
Street Guide as a Literary Genre: La Manada City
by María del Mar López-Cabrales, Joseph Cabeza-Lainez and Inmaculada Rodriguez-Cunill
Arts 2023, 12(3), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030115 - 31 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1292
Abstract
This study thoroughly examines La Manada (The Wolf Pack) City, an artwork that illuminates the various forms of violence and oppression experienced by urban communities, particularly women and marginalized groups. Our research specifically focuses on the literary elements of this painted map [...] Read more.
This study thoroughly examines La Manada (The Wolf Pack) City, an artwork that illuminates the various forms of violence and oppression experienced by urban communities, particularly women and marginalized groups. Our research specifically focuses on the literary elements of this painted map which demonstrates the transition from defensive to artistic strategies as a means of survival. Initially, we aim to provide a comprehensive background of the artwork, including its title, social context, the incidents that inspired the idea, and the author’s activism. Subsequently, we scrutinize the literary resources of the 257 items that comprise the street guide of the map. By analysing the various names given to locations on the map, including literary devices and semantic fields, we observe reminiscences of classic surrealist paintings and the artist’s ability to protect herself while revealing the violence hidden behind the guise of antithesis, alliteration, metaphor, and other literary devices. To demonstrate the effectiveness of our research, we compared it to two other maps with different intentions. Our findings confirm the strength of La Manada City, which operates both locally and globally. As a representation of the former emporium city of Seville, our map exposes the adverse impact of dominant capitalistic strategies on community life, perpetuating inequalities for countless “poor owners of the world” by disregarding nature and culture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arts: Art and Urban Studies)
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0 pages, 287 KiB  
Article
Nicola Guerra (1865–1942) at the Budapest Opera: A Crucial Turning Point for Hungarian Ballet
by Francesca Falcone
Arts 2023, 12(3), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030114 - 31 May 2023
Viewed by 1831
Abstract
This study aims to investigate the contribution that the Italian maestro Nicola Guerra brought to the Budapest Opera House Ballet (from 1902 to 1915), founding a corps de ballet capable of competing with the best corps de ballet of other international theatres and [...] Read more.
This study aims to investigate the contribution that the Italian maestro Nicola Guerra brought to the Budapest Opera House Ballet (from 1902 to 1915), founding a corps de ballet capable of competing with the best corps de ballet of other international theatres and endowing the theatre with a consistent and valuable number of choreographies, some of which were performed even after Guerra had left Hungary. It also aims to investigate the transnational career of a choreographer in the early twentieth century, exploring the circulation of mindsets in a range of dance concepts. The investigation explores first-hand sources, many of which come from the Guerra family archives, dwelling also on the notations transcribed by the maestro himself, in particular of the ballet Havasi Gyopár (Edelweiss), which allow us to draw with some reliability on his compositional style that was particularly fruitful in choreographies for large groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The History of Hungarian Ballet)
18 pages, 316 KiB  
Article
Performing Feces in Contemporary Video and Performance Art in Israel
by Nissim Gal
Arts 2023, 12(3), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030113 - 31 May 2023
Viewed by 2693
Abstract
In its political ideology, large sectors of Israeli society hold the belief that only people who share its ethnocratic values can share the same hygiene identity with it, reflecting its self-perception as a pure national subject. This is the context in which scatological [...] Read more.
In its political ideology, large sectors of Israeli society hold the belief that only people who share its ethnocratic values can share the same hygiene identity with it, reflecting its self-perception as a pure national subject. This is the context in which scatological works based on radical materialism and ethical critique first appeared in Israeli performance and video art at the turn of the twenty-first century. The artworks under discussion seek to consider humankind as machines that produce waste, with an emphasis on the excess waste that separates those who are excluded from the dominant Israeli-nationalist-Zionist view or discourse. Some artists employ excrement as a tool to degrade power structures, while others see it as a source of creativity and an alternative way of material and ethical life. Performing feces, or being shit, constitutes a position of creation, observation, and being to which we should pay particular attention at this moment in time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rethinking Materiality in Modern and Contemporary Art)
29 pages, 27936 KiB  
Article
Socio-Educational Impact of Ukraine War Murals: Jasień Railway Station Gallery
by Elżbieta Perzycka-Borowska, Marta Gliniecka, Kalina Kukiełko and Michał Parchimowicz
Arts 2023, 12(3), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030112 - 30 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2350
Abstract
Exploring the role of public art in conveying complex socio-political messages, this article investigates the multifaceted socio-educational impact of 32 murals representing the war in Ukraine, located in Jasień Railway Station, Gdansk, Poland. Employing an interdisciplinary research approach, the study combines critical theory [...] Read more.
Exploring the role of public art in conveying complex socio-political messages, this article investigates the multifaceted socio-educational impact of 32 murals representing the war in Ukraine, located in Jasień Railway Station, Gdansk, Poland. Employing an interdisciplinary research approach, the study combines critical theory and visual communication methodologies to uncover the deeper messages conveyed by these thought-provoking murals. The analysis encompasses six diverse perspectives—historical, personal, ethical, cultural, technical, and critical—leading to the identification of six distinct mural categories: (1) resistance and hope, (2) family and courage, (3) suffering and death, (4) torturers and the oppressed, (5) animals, and (6) idyllic. The study underscores the significance of murals as a public art form for symbolically communicating social, cultural, and political events while introducing novel interpretations and expanding visual communication possibilities. Furthermore, this research demonstrates the potential of interdisciplinary approaches in exploring the intricate relationships between public art and the messages they convey, showcasing their capacity to shape public opinion and foster dialogue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Visual Arts)
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20 pages, 11212 KiB  
Article
Color Semantics of the Cultural Landscape
by Olga Lavrenova
Arts 2023, 12(3), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030111 - 30 May 2023
Viewed by 1713
Abstract
A cultural landscape is the result of a continuous interaction between the surrounding natural landscape and culture. Meanings, symbols, and codes of culture are an integral part of it. This paper is a review of publications on current research over the past 20 [...] Read more.
A cultural landscape is the result of a continuous interaction between the surrounding natural landscape and culture. Meanings, symbols, and codes of culture are an integral part of it. This paper is a review of publications on current research over the past 20 years. The aim is to analyze the existing research practices, which are based on factual evidence and existing theoretical foundations, using an interdisciplinary approach, in order to come closer to a sufficiently holistic understanding of the coloristic semantics of the cultural landscape. Such a review and analysis of disparate studies allows for the first time the correlation of different types of cultural landscapes (urban, rural, gardens, and parks) and different types of signifier functions performed in them by color—signals, indices, iconic models, conventional signs or symbols, zero, or empty signs. The author analyzes the difference in the semantics of chromatic and achromatic colors and explores the landscape chromodynamics, namely, by creating the first-ever classification of the types and meanings of color foci of various durations—from days to decades. Color loci signs are continuously communicating in the cultural landscape, which is a field of constant “cultural explosion”, where traditional cultural meanings are transmitted and new meanings are generated. The author comes to the conclusion that color symbolism is part of the “landscape-as-text” containing certain information—“messages” of culture to itself. In these messages, color has sacral, temporal, and historical semantics, thus creating an extended semantic frame for the reproduction of cultural codes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Colour: Art and Design in Urban Environments)
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23 pages, 12263 KiB  
Essay
Minding the Body: Space, Memory, and Visual Culture in Constructions of Jewish Identity
by Kerri Steinberg
Arts 2023, 12(3), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030110 - 30 May 2023
Viewed by 1881
Abstract
While it is well established that articulations of identity must always be contextualized within time and place, only when we consider how bodies move through, touch, and are touched by physical, cognitive, and even imaginary spaces do we arrive at dynamic and intersectional [...] Read more.
While it is well established that articulations of identity must always be contextualized within time and place, only when we consider how bodies move through, touch, and are touched by physical, cognitive, and even imaginary spaces do we arrive at dynamic and intersectional expressions of identity. Using two divergent visual culture case studies, this essay first applies Setha Low’s theory of embodied spaces to understand the intersection and interconnection between body, space, and culture, and how the concept of belongingness is knotted with material and representational indicators of space at the Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum in Israel. Marianne Hirsch’s ideas about the Holocaust and affiliative postmemory are also considered to further understand how Jewish bodies inherit their identifies and sense of belonging. To test how embodied spaces and affiliative postmemory or collective memory implicitly operate to help shape and articulate expressions of Jewish identities, the focus then shifts to a consideration of the eight-decade career of New York jazz musician and visual artist, Bill Wurtzel. The clever combination of “schtick and sechel” in Wurtzel’s artistic practice, activated by his movement through the Jewish spaces of his youth such as the Catskills, and through his interaction with Jewish design great, Lou Dorfsman, underscore how Jewish belonging and identity are forged at the intersection of physical and tactile “embodied spaces,” where the internal meets the external and human consciousness and experience converge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Articulations of Identity in Contemporary Aesthetics)
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11 pages, 5063 KiB  
Essay
The Lisa and John Slideshow (2017): A Play about Photography
by David Moore
Arts 2023, 12(3), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030109 - 26 May 2023
Viewed by 1075
Abstract
The Lisa and John Slideshow is a theatrical response to my own earlier photographic project, Pictures from the Real World. Colour Photographs, 1987–88, interrogating recurring theoretical questions that challenge the discourse of social documentary photography through an expanded practice. As a significant [...] Read more.
The Lisa and John Slideshow is a theatrical response to my own earlier photographic project, Pictures from the Real World. Colour Photographs, 1987–88, interrogating recurring theoretical questions that challenge the discourse of social documentary photography through an expanded practice. As a significant piece of research, devised through participation with those depicted within the image, the forty-five-minute play questions representational methods through an alternate medium. The project evokes what else was knowable from the terrain of possibilities when the sovereign images of the former project were captured, as it reaches into photographs, opening contextual focus on the social, political and relational aspects of production. This paper is drawn from my Ph.D. thesis, What the Subject Does. Lisa and John and Pictures from the Real World submitted to the University of Sussex in December 2022. The question asked within this commentary is: How can unequal power relations within photographic representation of working-class communities be renegotiated through trans-media practice and the use of theatre? Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue (Modern) Photography: The Magic of Lights and Shadows)
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10 pages, 2555 KiB  
Essay
On Hijacking LED Walls
by Mathilde Roman
Arts 2023, 12(3), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030108 - 26 May 2023
Viewed by 1360
Abstract
In recent years, the LED walls originally used in outdoor spaces by advertising companies to extend the consumption of images in our daily life have been appropriated by artists and installed in gallery spaces. When viewed nearby or when walking around them, LED [...] Read more.
In recent years, the LED walls originally used in outdoor spaces by advertising companies to extend the consumption of images in our daily life have been appropriated by artists and installed in gallery spaces. When viewed nearby or when walking around them, LED walls become in some way dysfunctional: The images fade, points and color distortions appear, and the spectacle of the machine interruputs our habitual viewing patterns. This article focuses on three recent works which disrupt immersive viewing regimes through what I call “hijacking” advanced LED technology. Lucy Raven (Tucson, AZ, USA), Demolition of a Wall (Album 2), 2022. Eija-Liisa Ahtila (Helsinki, Finland), Potentiality for Love, 2018. Marco Fusinato (Sidney, Australia), Desastres, Australian Pavilion, Venice Biennale, 2022. These three artists use the sculptural and spectacular effect of freestanding LED walls to call attention to our habitual capitalist relation to LED technology. Through performative or narrative pieces, these artists deploy poetic and artistic effects to explore the politics of technological immersion in capitalist societies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Framing the Virtual: New Technologies and Immersive Exhibitions)
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12 pages, 2624 KiB  
Article
Empowering Children and Revitalising Architecture through Participatory Art: The What Animal Is It? Project by Iza Rutkowska
by Iwona Szustakiewicz
Arts 2023, 12(3), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030107 - 25 May 2023
Viewed by 1131
Abstract
This article explores how a holistic combination of three components, society, art, and architecture, can contribute to the successful revitalisation of derelict buildings and, at the same time, improve the well-being of the users of reclaimed spaces. The author uses a case study [...] Read more.
This article explores how a holistic combination of three components, society, art, and architecture, can contribute to the successful revitalisation of derelict buildings and, at the same time, improve the well-being of the users of reclaimed spaces. The author uses a case study of a playground designed by the artist Iza Rutkowska in cooperation with children in a specific location at the Intermediae Matadero centre in Madrid. The centre is located in a revitalised warehouse in the complex of former municipal slaughterhouses, built at the beginning of the 20th century. The analysis of Iza Rutkowska’s work is conducted against the background of broader analyses of the elements of the triad and the conditions required for them to enter into dialogue with each other. Their synergic combination is one of the factors that can have a positive impact on the regeneration of even such alien spaces as former industrial buildings. The users’ creative activities fill space with new meanings and turn it into a place perceived as good. At the same time, the effects go beyond the walls of the redeveloped buildings, positively influencing the well-being of the users and creating social relationships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Relationship between Art, Architecture and Society)
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16 pages, 1672 KiB  
Article
Uday Shan-Kar and Me: Stories of Self-Orientalization, Hyphenization, and Diasporic Declarations
by Lionel Popkin
Arts 2023, 12(3), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030106 - 18 May 2023
Viewed by 1147
Abstract
This article discusses how orientalism has operated and continues to operate within the North American artistic landscape of dance artists. The author starts by focusing on Uday Shankar (1900–1977), one of the major, though often overlooked, figures over the last 100 years of [...] Read more.
This article discusses how orientalism has operated and continues to operate within the North American artistic landscape of dance artists. The author starts by focusing on Uday Shankar (1900–1977), one of the major, though often overlooked, figures over the last 100 years of South Asian (and predominantly Indian) dance performance on the concert stage in the diasporic context, to consider how orientalism, the desire for authenticity, a nationalist agenda, religious fundamentalism, economic necessities, multi-cultural initiatives, and diversity desires all interact and coalesce to form an undercurrent of limited potentials about how and why South Asian dance can exist within the American performance discourse. In an auto-ethnographic move, the author then juxtaposes Shankar’s historical legacy with a new artistic project by the author (b. 1969), entitled Reorient the Orient, premiering in 2024. The writing uses archival sources such as photographs, programs, publicity materials, featured essays, newspaper previews, reviews, filmed dance footage, choreographic analysis, and personal reflections to explore how social factors and personal ambitions create awkward relationships within orientalism’s manifestations in the diasporic U.S. performance landscape. Full article
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14 pages, 2818 KiB  
Article
Transforming Circe: Latin Influences on the Depiction of a Sorceress in Renaissance Cassone Narratives
by Margaret Franklin
Arts 2023, 12(3), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030105 - 18 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1577
Abstract
This article addresses the use of Latin accounts of Homer’s archetypal sorceress, Circe, in visual narratives constructed to embellish quattrocento marriage chests (cassoni). I argue that Apollonio di Giovanni employed the writings of both ancient (Virgil) and late medieval (Boccaccio) Latin authors to [...] Read more.
This article addresses the use of Latin accounts of Homer’s archetypal sorceress, Circe, in visual narratives constructed to embellish quattrocento marriage chests (cassoni). I argue that Apollonio di Giovanni employed the writings of both ancient (Virgil) and late medieval (Boccaccio) Latin authors to construct a characterization of Circe that rendered her power to transform men into beasts relevant to the functioning of Early Renaissance homes and societies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metamorphosis in the Arts (c.500-c.1700))
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28 pages, 13651 KiB  
Article
Arts, Artworks and Manuscripts in Sicily between the 12th and 13th Centuries: Interactions and Interchanges at the Mediterranean Crossroads
by Giulia Arcidiacono
Arts 2023, 12(3), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030104 - 16 May 2023
Viewed by 2174
Abstract
This research explores the figurative culture that flourished in Sicily during the 12th and 13th centuries, focusing on the interplay between artifacts of different types, materials, techniques and uses. Paintings, sculptures and objects that share a common visual language are analyzed with the [...] Read more.
This research explores the figurative culture that flourished in Sicily during the 12th and 13th centuries, focusing on the interplay between artifacts of different types, materials, techniques and uses. Paintings, sculptures and objects that share a common visual language are analyzed with the aim of highlighting recurring motifs, mutual influences and related sources. The main focus is on the decorative apparatus of the Sacramentary Ms. 52 (Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional de España), one of the most famous illuminated manuscripts from Sicily. The date, origin and patronage of this luxurious liturgical book have been the subject of intense scholarly debate. In order to shed light on these controversial issues, this study re-examines the various hypotheses considered by scholars, taking into account the historical events that affected Sicily from the end of the Norman to the beginning of the Swabian era. This analysis also shows how the decoration of the manuscript fits into the wider dynamics of cultural exchange that characterized Sicily and the Mediterranean during this transitional period. Full article
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17 pages, 2284 KiB  
Article
Roda and Terreiro: The Historiography of Brazil’s Visual Arts at the Crossroads of Globalization
by Roberto Conduru
Arts 2023, 12(3), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030103 - 16 May 2023
Viewed by 1482
Abstract
The article focuses on Brazil’s visual arts historiography from the 1990s onwards when institutions in Europe and the U.S. began to present Brazil’s art more frequently amid the growing globalization of the art system. Edge cases are highlighted to demonstrate how scholars based [...] Read more.
The article focuses on Brazil’s visual arts historiography from the 1990s onwards when institutions in Europe and the U.S. began to present Brazil’s art more frequently amid the growing globalization of the art system. Edge cases are highlighted to demonstrate how scholars based outside Brazil are helping to build a canon of that country’s visual arts that contrasts and surpasses the canon of Brazil’s visual arts outlined in Brazil’s collections, exhibitions, publications, and scholarly production. The image of roda (circle) in Ronald Duarte’s Nimbo/Oxalá and Ricardo Basbaum’s image/idea of “terreiro de encontros” (terrace of encounters) are proposed as Afro-Brazilian references with which to face the challenges of these historiographic crossroads. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rethinking Contemporary Latin American Art)
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33 pages, 33168 KiB  
Article
Reverberations of Persepolis: Persianist Readings of Late Roman Wall Decoration
by Stephanie A. Hagan
Arts 2023, 12(3), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030102 - 12 May 2023
Viewed by 2857
Abstract
Animal combats (venationes) were a popular entertainment in the Roman world. Splashy panels of inlaid marble (opus sectile) commemorate these bloody contests in several buildings in and around Rome. Among the most well-known are survivals from the 4th century CE Basilica of Junius [...] Read more.
Animal combats (venationes) were a popular entertainment in the Roman world. Splashy panels of inlaid marble (opus sectile) commemorate these bloody contests in several buildings in and around Rome. Among the most well-known are survivals from the 4th century CE Basilica of Junius Bassus and, several decades later, the marble-revetted hall from Porta Marina at Ostia. On the face of it, the wall decoration from these sites memorializes typical Roman activities, but the panels expose the vast geography implicated in these combat spectacles. The brilliant stones used to render them came from lands as far off as the Caspian tigers and Asiatic lions they depicted. The iconography of the panels was also foreign: the animal combat, or symplegma (intertwining), is seen on works from pre-Achaemenid sculpture to Sasanian textiles, and most recognizably, at the Achaemenid palace at Persepolis, where a lion attacks a bull in relief on the Apadana stairway. Reading these panels through a Persianist lens illuminates the ways in which the Persepolitan model animated Roman themes and visual programs. Though they recalled events in the Roman arena, they also imparted political and astrological signification to the decoration by means of their Persian associations. By alluding to the Achaemenid empire, a great power of the past and a continuing rival in the form of the Sasanians, the Roman patron accrued to himself some measure of the veneration for this culture and showed himself able to communicate in an idiom legible to an international clientele. Full article
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12 pages, 1206 KiB  
Article
Montage after Navigation
by Andy Broadey
Arts 2023, 12(3), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030101 - 12 May 2023
Viewed by 1759
Abstract
The concept of navigation, introduced by Harun Farocki in his lecture Computer Animation Rules, explains the digital/algorithmic choreography of consumer behaviour through media platforms. This article contends navigational connectivity is a cybernetic operating structure for capital, which mediates the techno-geographic milieu of the [...] Read more.
The concept of navigation, introduced by Harun Farocki in his lecture Computer Animation Rules, explains the digital/algorithmic choreography of consumer behaviour through media platforms. This article contends navigational connectivity is a cybernetic operating structure for capital, which mediates the techno-geographic milieu of the capitalocene and is a key factor in the present destabilization of earth systems. There is, therefore, an urgent need to formulate ways of disarticulating navigational processes to fragment global capitalism and re-establish a diversification of local cultures. We undertake this task in tandem with the critical project of cosmotechnics developed by Yuk Hui and examine how an ontological disagreement between Gilles Deleuze and Quentin Meillassoux shapes Hui’s analysis of cybernetics. Contra Meillassoux’s correlationist reading, we argue Deleuze foregrounds machinic becoming through a primal contact with the virtual and claim practices of montage are machines of analysis that dismantle navigational connections and establish alternate patterns of feedback estranged from the capitalist process. To this end, we examine models of montage developed by Jacques Rancière, Farocki and Deleuze, and consider the potential of such models to function as machines of navigational disarticulation and cultural pluralization. This approach reframes user engagement as modulative becoming in a manner that introduces new techno-cultural-geographic conjunctions appropriate to cosmotechnics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technology/Media-Engaged Art: From New-Materialist Philosophies)
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8 pages, 271 KiB  
Article
Defining Art as Phenomenal Being
by Ivan Kolev
Arts 2023, 12(3), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030100 - 12 May 2023
Viewed by 1333
Abstract
At the beginning of the 20th century, the definition of art became one of the difficult topics of aesthetics and art theory. The emergence of the institutional approach and the debates surrounding it provoked many responses. This article proposes one possible response that [...] Read more.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the definition of art became one of the difficult topics of aesthetics and art theory. The emergence of the institutional approach and the debates surrounding it provoked many responses. This article proposes one possible response that uses Kant’s example of category deduction as a productive analogy that can serve as a “deduction of art categories”. Art is seen as a phenomenal entity constituted by multiple meaning perspectives, each of which has a figure representing it (author, spectator, patron, collector, curator, connoisseur, critic, historian, typologist, theorist, aesthetician, and metaphysician). The position of each of these figures legitimates a categorical definition that participates in the constitution of the “phenomenal being of art”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Art Theory and Psychological Aesthetics)
12 pages, 9035 KiB  
Article
Lutheran Apocalyptic Imagery in the Orthodox Context
by Anita Paolicchi
Arts 2023, 12(3), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030099 - 11 May 2023
Viewed by 1333
Abstract
Dürer’s Apocalypse was undoubtedly the prototype for the many apocalyptic representations that suddenly appeared in Central Europe by the end of the sixteenth century: the influence of Dürer’s Apocalypse extended far beyond the German borders, towards Western, Southern and Eastern countries. The Apocalypse [...] Read more.
Dürer’s Apocalypse was undoubtedly the prototype for the many apocalyptic representations that suddenly appeared in Central Europe by the end of the sixteenth century: the influence of Dürer’s Apocalypse extended far beyond the German borders, towards Western, Southern and Eastern countries. The Apocalypse text is extremely rich in symbols so that it could easily be enriched with additional meanings: Cranach’s reworking of Dürer’s iconographic model in the 1520s, under Luther’s personal guidance, became a key instrument of transmission of the Lutheran doctrine and anti-papal criticism. The reception of these prototypes in the Orthodox world followed different routes, as two different works of art can prove, namely, a cycle of frescoes on Mount Athos and a series of Gospel book covers made at the end of the seventeenth century by an unidentified Transylvanian Saxon Lutheran goldsmith. In the latter, the Cranach prototype, which was originally made with the purpose of transmitting the Lutheran doctrine, was brilliantly adapted by the goldsmith to a different context. The comparative analysis of the same scene by Dürer, Cranach and the Transylvanian goldsmith can be useful to show how art could be employed to transmit a religious and political message while adapting it to the specific needs and characteristics of a culturally and religiously different context. Full article
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15 pages, 3377 KiB  
Article
The Early Manuscripts of San Salvatore de Lingua in Messina (Mid-12th Century): Surveying the Chief Decorator
by Antonino Tranchina
Arts 2023, 12(3), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030098 - 9 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2027
Abstract
The monastery of Holy Savior has been the subject of much scholarship, but the liturgical reform requested by King Roger II of Sicily and carried out by the first archimandrite, Luke of Rossano, and the latter’s struggle to establish seemly equipment, has been [...] Read more.
The monastery of Holy Savior has been the subject of much scholarship, but the liturgical reform requested by King Roger II of Sicily and carried out by the first archimandrite, Luke of Rossano, and the latter’s struggle to establish seemly equipment, has been largely neglected. Given its potential relevance for the material setting of the monastery’s early manuscript collection through the middle of the twelfth century, this seems an oversight. Art historians have repeatedly claimed that the monastery’s lofty status could have enabled the spread of Byzantine models to Norman Sicily, especially in relation to figurative arts and manuscript decoration. This paper discusses the same assumption from the opposite perspective. It explores the main tendencies of manuscript decoration at San Salvatore based on the extant evidence from the monastery’s early collection. Building on the paleographical and codicological observations provided in the past decades (mostly by philologists), I examine the manuscripts in terms of decorative practice and artistic culture. Full article
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16 pages, 950 KiB  
Article
Quilting in West Africa: Liberian Women Stitching Political, Economic, and Social Networks in the Nineteenth Century
by Stephanie Beck Cohen
Arts 2023, 12(3), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030097 - 8 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1915
Abstract
Quilts occupy a liminal position in the histories of art and material culture. Centering analyses around specific artworks like Martha Ricks’ 1892 Coffee Tree quilt, as well as investigating women’s writing about their material production, illuminates ignored narratives about the ways black [...] Read more.
Quilts occupy a liminal position in the histories of art and material culture. Centering analyses around specific artworks like Martha Ricks’ 1892 Coffee Tree quilt, as well as investigating women’s writing about their material production, illuminates ignored narratives about the ways black women participated in international social, political, and economic networks around the nineteenth-century Atlantic world. Quilters who emigrated from the United States to Liberia in the nineteenth century incorporated an aesthetic heritage from the American South with new visual vocabularies developing alongside the newly independent nation. Artists relied on networks with abolitionists in the United States and local textile knowledge to source materials for their work. Finished quilts circulated in local and international contexts, furthering social, political, and economic objectives. Like Harriet Powers’ bible quilts, Ricks’ quilts gained fame through exhibition and a whimsical artist’s biography. Quilts’ fragility as natural-fiber textiles in a tropical climate makes a finding a body of works difficult to examine as there are no extant Liberian quilts from the nineteenth century. However, it is possible to patch together a network of women artists, their patrons, and audiences from West Africa to North America and Europe through creative investigation of diverse historical records, including diary entries, letters, newspaper articles, and photographs. I argue that by examining Martha Ricks’ artworks, self-presentation through portraiture, and published writing, it is possible to envision a new narrative of black women’s participation in visualizing the newly-minted Republic of Liberia for Atlantic audiences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Black Artists in the Atlantic World)
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25 pages, 51110 KiB  
Article
Guardians of the Text: Griffins and Sphinxes in the Neapolitan Ovid (BNN ms. IV F 3)
by Fátima Díez-Platas
Arts 2023, 12(3), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030096 - 8 May 2023
Viewed by 2110
Abstract
This article investigates the origins and significance of images of griffins and sphinxes—hybrid creatures of Greco-Roman tradition—in the marginal decorations of the so-called “Neapolitan Ovid” (BNN ms. IV F 3), the first illuminated manuscript of the Metamorphoses, probably from the late 11th [...] Read more.
This article investigates the origins and significance of images of griffins and sphinxes—hybrid creatures of Greco-Roman tradition—in the marginal decorations of the so-called “Neapolitan Ovid” (BNN ms. IV F 3), the first illuminated manuscript of the Metamorphoses, probably from the late 11th century. Their form and style suggest specific iconographic origins and links with the decorative motifs from Antiquity that circulated in artistic objects around Bari, the manuscript’s place of origin. Among the many figures that provide a pictorial response to the poem’s content, the presence of these griffins and sphinxes offers compelling evidence of the survival of ancient imagery; they also invite us to explore the relationship between image and text in the illuminated book. From this analysis, we can better understand the complex role of these hybrid figures in the manuscript. Their existence is testimony to the continuity of marginal decorative systems derived from Antiquity that are present in objects and were articulated through the Islamic and Byzantine formal vocabularies accessible in Puglia at the time. Full article
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16 pages, 1739 KiB  
Article
Born in Translation and Iteration: On the Poetics of João Delgado
by Lea Mauas and Diego Rotman
Arts 2023, 12(3), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12030095 - 8 May 2023
Viewed by 1436
Abstract
João Delgado’s poetry first appeared as an anthology of translated poetry in He’arat Shulaym Issue 1, published in November 2001 in Jerusalem by the artist collective Sala-Manca. The entire issue was devoted to João Delgado. Delgado was a Portuguese-Argentinean poet, born in Lisbon [...] Read more.
João Delgado’s poetry first appeared as an anthology of translated poetry in He’arat Shulaym Issue 1, published in November 2001 in Jerusalem by the artist collective Sala-Manca. The entire issue was devoted to João Delgado. Delgado was a Portuguese-Argentinean poet, born in Lisbon circa 1920 (or not), who left Portugal as a political refugee for Buenos Aires. He disappeared in 1976 during the military dictatorship in Argentina (1976–1983). Since 1976, there has been no trace of his fate, although new fragments of his work are constantly being discovered, translated, and published by the Sala-Manca group. There is no evidence of any originals of his work. Literary critics in Israel praised Delgado’s poetry and art and even identified previously unknown relationships to poets and artists from the European avantgarde. In Sala-Manca’s artistic work, dating back two decades, João Delgado and his heteronyms would have a central role and focus, blurring the boundaries of the group, blurring the fictional with the “real”, and proposing a subjectivity that embraces multiplicity and dispersion. Translating his poetry into Hebrew, a foreign language (to Delgado), and bringing it into print for the first time in neither its original language nor the cultural context in which it was created may be seen as a kind of de-contextualization of the poet’s poetry, since Delgado always kept himself and his oeuvre connected to the immediate surroundings where it was produced. On the other hand, perhaps it is actually this possibility—to “become only in translation”—that is one of the outstanding characteristics of Delgado’s poetry, emblematic of its linguistic and conceptual elasticity. This paper examines João Delgado’s poetic work in relation to Sala-Manca’s artistic work and the way in which both Sala-Manca and Delgado create a “system of life” by being heteronyms of one another, allowing for a multiplicity of identities, and stressing the relation to Others. Full article
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