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Arts, Volume 12, Issue 5 (October 2023) – 40 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Anthi Andronikou’s article analyses the manifestation and assimilation of the Venetian visual culture of the Renaissance era, on the island of Cyprus, which served as one of Venice’s Mediterranean colonies between 1474/89 and 1570/1. Focusing on devotional painting, the study examines iconographic schemes, such as the Man of Sorrows and the Holy Conversation, as well as stylistic and iconographic correspondences between the two territories. Andronikou also probes the architectural function, purpose, and tenor of lunette-shaped panels in Cyprus, and collates them with their Venetian equivalents. In short, the article thoroughly expounds the artistic contact Cypriot artists and their sponsors maintained with Venice as opposed to Italy as a whole. View this paper
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27 pages, 18886 KiB  
Article
“Amphions Harp gaue sence vnto stone Walles”: The Five Senses and Musical–Visual Affect
by Katie Bank
Arts 2023, 12(5), 219; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12050219 - 23 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1867
Abstract
In 1582 George Whetstone described the feeling of entering a barren Great Chamber the morning after a night of sparkling social and musical entertainments. Recounting the previous night’s activities, he reflected on the relationship between musical activity and space, saying ‘the Poets fayned [...] Read more.
In 1582 George Whetstone described the feeling of entering a barren Great Chamber the morning after a night of sparkling social and musical entertainments. Recounting the previous night’s activities, he reflected on the relationship between musical activity and space, saying ‘the Poets fayned not without reason, that Amphions Harp gaue sence vnto stone Walles’. This article explores the complex relationships between sensing, sociability, activity, and space through an in-depth examination of a late sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English interior design trend: personifications of the Five Senses. Using active imagining, it considers how the Five Senses engaged early modern English subjects in a dialectic between sensory/bodily absence and presence as a mode for exploring the precarious pleasure of holding the passions on the edge of balance. Looking at the spatial and musical-ritual framings of the Five Senses decoration at Knole House, Kent, it investigates how feeling, sensing bodies experienced musical–visual sensory interplay in early modern elite households. It seeks to better understand the aesthetic, emotional experiences of those who gave life to the musical, social situations in such spaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Im/Materiality in Renaissance Arts)
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20 pages, 12409 KiB  
Article
Colonial Carpenters: Construction, Race, and Agency in the Viceroyalty of Peru during the 16th and 17th Centuries
by Francisco Mamani Fuentes
Arts 2023, 12(5), 218; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12050218 - 18 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1678
Abstract
This article examines colonial documents to shed light on the presence of non-white carpenters in the carpentry trade during the first two centuries of Spanish colonial rule in Peru. It first offers a general definition of carpentry work during the sixteenth and seventeenth [...] Read more.
This article examines colonial documents to shed light on the presence of non-white carpenters in the carpentry trade during the first two centuries of Spanish colonial rule in Peru. It first offers a general definition of carpentry work during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and then explores the specific environments in which Indigenous, black, and mixed-race carpenters carried out their activities. Through this analysis, it becomes evident that the agency of non-white individuals and groups in the carpentry trade was shaped by the diverse labor systems that predominated in colonial society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Race and Architecture in the Iberian World, c. 1500-1800s)
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15 pages, 4146 KiB  
Article
The Corpse and Humanist Discourse: Dead Bodies in Contemporary Chinese Art
by Madeline Eschenburg
Arts 2023, 12(5), 217; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12050217 - 18 Oct 2023
Viewed by 2370
Abstract
In the 1990s, a notable trend in contemporary Chinese art was the use of human corpses as material for installation art. These works were called derivative and societally harmful by critics and have been dismissed as anomalous in more recent scholarship. This paper [...] Read more.
In the 1990s, a notable trend in contemporary Chinese art was the use of human corpses as material for installation art. These works were called derivative and societally harmful by critics and have been dismissed as anomalous in more recent scholarship. This paper will demonstrate that the use of corpses was the continuation of a a decade-long attempt to free art from a perceived unhealthy relationship with society through ridding the human body of ideological meaning. I argue that the use of dead bodies marks a metaphorical end to this preoccupation within the contemporary Chinese art world and paved the way for a fundamental shift in the way artists approached society as a whole. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materializing Death and the Afterlife in Afro-Eurasian Art)
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19 pages, 100755 KiB  
Article
Manifesting Rights on Cloth: Regalia and Relations on the Northwest Coast
by Kathryn Bunn-Marcuse
Arts 2023, 12(5), 216; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12050216 - 13 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1696
Abstract
Using buttons and beads sewn on wool and calico, Northwest Coast First Nations women fashion the robes and aprons essential to ongoing expressions of inherited prerogatives and rights. Each piece of regalia is carefully crafted to include signifying materials and motifs, telling of [...] Read more.
Using buttons and beads sewn on wool and calico, Northwest Coast First Nations women fashion the robes and aprons essential to ongoing expressions of inherited prerogatives and rights. Each piece of regalia is carefully crafted to include signifying materials and motifs, telling of the origins or relations of their owners. These creations exist as part of a holistic system that integrates material artworks within ceremony, including song, dance, and oratory, which in turn uphold the laws expressed through potlatching. Shifting scholarly focus from Northwest Coast carving traditions, this paper recenters textile arts within a holistic, culturally focused context while addressing issues of gender, the effects of colonial practices, and the damage wrought by salvage anthropology as it fragmented cultural information across archives. Women’s artistic productions embody long-held technical and aesthetic knowledge connected to oral histories and cultural practices. Restoring Indigenous perspectives connecting tangible and intangible cultural heritage counterbalances the aesthetic emphasis that has dominated Northwest Coast art history. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arts of the Northwest Coast)
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15 pages, 15465 KiB  
Article
The Soviet and Stalinist Works of the Michell Wolfson Jr. Collection
by Matteo Fochessati
Arts 2023, 12(5), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12050215 - 10 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1208
Abstract
This paper offers a survey of the Soviet propaganda works collected by Mitchell (Micky) Wolfson Jr. since there 1980s and now preserved at the Wolfsonian—FIU (Florida International University) in Miami Beach and at the Wolfsoniana—Palazzo Ducale Fondazione per la Cultura in Genoa. The [...] Read more.
This paper offers a survey of the Soviet propaganda works collected by Mitchell (Micky) Wolfson Jr. since there 1980s and now preserved at the Wolfsonian—FIU (Florida International University) in Miami Beach and at the Wolfsoniana—Palazzo Ducale Fondazione per la Cultura in Genoa. The first collection to include the art of the regimes in a larger panorama of cultural production, the Wolfsonian offers, through a critical interpretation of the Soviet propaganda works within linguistic pluralism, a clear and immediate visual narrative of the history of the twentieth century. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Russia: Histories of Mobility)
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20 pages, 1731 KiB  
Essay
Aleijadinho’s Mestiço Architecture in Eighteenth-Century Brazil: Inventing Brazilian National Identity via a Racialized Colonial Art
by Laura Ammann
Arts 2023, 12(5), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12050214 - 10 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1450
Abstract
Antônio Francisco Lisboa (Aleijadinho) is arguably the most famous Brazilian colonial artist, known for his Baroque sculptures and architecture. The reception of his life and work, which often centered on biographical aspects such as his mestiço identity and his disability, conferred him a [...] Read more.
Antônio Francisco Lisboa (Aleijadinho) is arguably the most famous Brazilian colonial artist, known for his Baroque sculptures and architecture. The reception of his life and work, which often centered on biographical aspects such as his mestiço identity and his disability, conferred him a mythological positioning in Brazilian history. From the first sources from the 19th century to the modernist reappraisal of the Colonial Baroque in the 1920s, Aleijadinho became a foundational figure in the construction of Brazil’s post-colonial nationhood. This article contributes to the understanding of the mythification of Aleijadinho, paying special attention to how his mestiço identity was articulated in the essays of the Brazilian modernist Mário de Andrade. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Race and Architecture in the Iberian World, c. 1500-1800s)
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23 pages, 4498 KiB  
Article
Comprehensive Analysis of the Trade of NFTs at Major Auction Houses: From Hype to Reality
by Christine Bourron
Arts 2023, 12(5), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12050212 - 07 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2150
Abstract
On 11 March 2021, amidst the lingering grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, the art world witnessed an extraordinary event. Christie’s, the renowned auction house, hosted a groundbreaking auction counting just one lot: a Non-Fungible Token (NFT)—a digital asset that had been generating buzz [...] Read more.
On 11 March 2021, amidst the lingering grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, the art world witnessed an extraordinary event. Christie’s, the renowned auction house, hosted a groundbreaking auction counting just one lot: a Non-Fungible Token (NFT)—a digital asset that had been generating buzz in recent times. The astounding price fetched by the NFT sent shockwaves through the art world. While the 255-year-old auction house was known for selling unique assets, its auctioning of an NFT was surprising as Christie’s online marketplace was not on the blockchain, contrarily to NFT platforms such as Opensea, Nifty Gateway, etc. The resounding success, however, of its historic auction was followed by a surge of NFT off-chain sales at Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and Phillips. While extensive research has been done on the trade of NFTs on the blockchain, little research exists on the trade of NFTs at public auction houses. Based on more than two years’ tracking of NFTs auctioned at major auction houses, our research identifies three phases in the development of the trade and provides valuable insights into the unique factors that contributed to the growth of NFTs at public auctions between the springs of 2021 and 2023. Full article
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14 pages, 3197 KiB  
Article
Contemplating Light: Experiencing Victor Moscoso’s Psychedelic Lithographs in the Museum
by Aleisha Barton
Arts 2023, 12(5), 213; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12050213 - 27 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1806
Abstract
Beginning in 1966, Victor Moscoso designed many of his psychedelic posters for the stroboscopic light shows of the San Francisco dance halls. Moscoso innovated a new mode of print that depended on its environment—kinetic lithography, a product of creative experimentation. He developed multiple [...] Read more.
Beginning in 1966, Victor Moscoso designed many of his psychedelic posters for the stroboscopic light shows of the San Francisco dance halls. Moscoso innovated a new mode of print that depended on its environment—kinetic lithography, a product of creative experimentation. He developed multiple iterations of this medium; however, installing it outside of its original context of the psychedelic dance hall continues to pose a unique challenge for preparators and curators alike. Today, museum display of his works relies upon experimental settings to activate his site-specific design. This article considers how immersive displays and antistatic artworks demand a new kind of relationship between visitor and artwork by decentering the museum’s longstanding emphasis on the optical, a regime that has long served to frame posters and ephemera in contexts of display rather than as active objects. By analyzing two recent exhibitions displaying Moscoso’s kinetic lithographs (The Summer of Love Experience, 2017, and Moscoso Cosmos, 2021), this article considers the mechanics of the print itself, curatorial decisions, and visitor engagement to assess the site-specific demands of a genre-bending medium. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Framing the Virtual: New Technologies and Immersive Exhibitions)
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20 pages, 1395 KiB  
Article
Post-Merge Carbon Footprint Analysis and Sustainability in the NFT Art Market
by Zhongbo Tian
Arts 2023, 12(5), 211; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12050211 - 25 Sep 2023
Viewed by 2106
Abstract
The market for non-fungible token (NFT) art is expected to reach USD 44.2 billion in 2021 and increase by 67.57 percent in 2022, revolutionizing the relationship between artists, collectors, and investors. Despite this, concerns regarding the environmental impact of blockchain technology’s high energy [...] Read more.
The market for non-fungible token (NFT) art is expected to reach USD 44.2 billion in 2021 and increase by 67.57 percent in 2022, revolutionizing the relationship between artists, collectors, and investors. Despite this, concerns regarding the environmental impact of blockchain technology’s high energy consumption persist. NFT art transactions will continue to generate significant carbon emissions after Ethereum’s “Merge” to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) system in September 2022, rendering many low-carbon solutions obsolete and necessitating further research into post-Merge alternatives. This study identifies solutions in the NFT art market, such as carbon neutrality, lazy minting, alternative consensus mechanisms, Layer 2 solutions and policy interventions. Carbon neutrality is achieved through investments in renewable energy or carbon credits to mitigate emissions generated by NFT art transactions. Lazy minting reduces energy consumption by postponing the creation of NFT art until a buyer is secured. In the NFT art ecosystem, alternative consensus mechanisms such as Proof of Authority (PoA) and Proof of Spacetime (PoST) reduce energy consumption. By offloading transactions from the primary blockchain, Layer 2 solutions enhance scalability and reduce energy consumption. Carbon taxes and energy consumption levies are examples of policy interventions that promote cleaner energy sources in the NFT art market. This study will explore the role of artists, collectors, galleries, and other significant players in encouraging environmentally sustainable practices in the NFT art market. In addition, it will investigate the effect of prominent NFT art sales on carbon emissions and the adoption of eco-friendly alternatives. By integrating and optimizing current carbon reduction strategies, the NFT art market can continue to flourish while reducing its environmental impact. The study emphasizes the significance of implementing a comprehensive strategy that incorporates multiple solutions that are tailored to the specific challenges of the NFT art market. Full article
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19 pages, 2954 KiB  
Article
The Community Museum of Sierra Hermosa (Zacatecas): Rethinking the Museology, Landscapes, and Archives from the Desert
by Natalia De la Rosa
Arts 2023, 12(5), 210; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12050210 - 25 Sep 2023
Viewed by 2177
Abstract
This article presents the methodology and collective work strategies that constitute the Club de Lectura y Museo Comunitario de Sierra Hermosa (Sierra Hermosa Community Museum and Reading Club) in Zacatecas, Mexico, a space founded by visual artist Juan Manuel de la Rosa, a [...] Read more.
This article presents the methodology and collective work strategies that constitute the Club de Lectura y Museo Comunitario de Sierra Hermosa (Sierra Hermosa Community Museum and Reading Club) in Zacatecas, Mexico, a space founded by visual artist Juan Manuel de la Rosa, a native of this place. The museum emerged as a small library in 2000; and a short time after its founding, the museological program incorporated textile workshops and an exhibition gallery for a collection organized with local and external donations. It also operates with a system of rotation within the town. This article reviews the historical, theoretical, and critical implications around the conception and action of the museum, with a focus on the colonial and the migration status that sustains the reality and history of this rural locality, situated on the Tropic of Cancer in the north of Mexico. In the context of extreme violence, extractive politics, and migratory crisis in Zacatecas, this article analyzes two artistic productions by the local painter Luis Lara and artist Cristóbal Gracia, developed in the context of this experimental and rural museum curatorial program. Moreover, this article redefines concepts such as the border, mobility, and cultural contact in an artistic, museological, and pedagogical context, and proposes alternatives to study Sierra Hermosa’s memory, history, and landscape. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rethinking Contemporary Latin American Art)
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15 pages, 829 KiB  
Article
Sonorous Touches: Listening to Jean-Luc Nancy’s Transimmanent Rhythms
by Adi Louria Hayon
Arts 2023, 12(5), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12050209 - 25 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1425
Abstract
Luigi Russolo’s Intonarumori together with his manifesto L’arte dei rumori (1913) marked a break with the art of clear signification. From here on, noise and dispersed sounds replaced the concept of music reverberating the harmony of the spheres by propelling the quandaries of [...] Read more.
Luigi Russolo’s Intonarumori together with his manifesto L’arte dei rumori (1913) marked a break with the art of clear signification. From here on, noise and dispersed sounds replaced the concept of music reverberating the harmony of the spheres by propelling the quandaries of immanence contingent on palpable resonance performing the differential relational manner of heterogeneous existence. This somatic turn is central to Jean-Luc Nancy’s Listening, where he proposes listening as a tangible fundamental resonance rumbling the corpse sonore. This paper elaborates on the move from the art of music to the plurality of rhythmic worlds. Nancy’s proposition of sonorous existence demonstrates two movements, one that retreats from hearing the Pythagorean musical-arithmetical cosmos exhibited in Robert Fludd’s Monochord, the other plays the singular plural pulsations of dispersed creation performed by Michael Snow’s Tap. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rethinking Materiality in Modern and Contemporary Art)
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22 pages, 739 KiB  
Article
The Shape of International Art Purchasing—The Shape of Things to Come
by Benjamin Duke
Arts 2023, 12(5), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12050208 - 22 Sep 2023
Viewed by 2112
Abstract
This article is about the role of cryptocurrencies, for example, decentralized autonomous organisations (DAOs) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), in the international art market. These are cryptocurrencies which can be used to work with local governments to deliver non-state-funded consultancy in, for example, funding [...] Read more.
This article is about the role of cryptocurrencies, for example, decentralized autonomous organisations (DAOs) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), in the international art market. These are cryptocurrencies which can be used to work with local governments to deliver non-state-funded consultancy in, for example, funding bid writing or community risk assessment. Self-polycentric and cause-based DAOs typically focus on actively listening to their token owners, utilizing the group’s skills under a transparent incentive structure fostering trust. This article delivers a critical evaluation of DAOs as an organisational management structure and business operations vehicle. This evaluation considers DAOs’ utility in supplying goods and services, through the critical lens of facilitating the international art market. The objective of this article is to raise wider awareness and understanding of DAOs as a legal entity. This paper acts to introduce the uninitiated to the business, societal value and legal uncertainties of DAOs and NFTs. DAOs are internet-based organisations built upon a set of instructions presented in and controlled by a computer programme, i.e., a smart contract. Effectively, DAOs are an artificial, electronic, online, digital technology entity, with no physical form. Full article
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18 pages, 6456 KiB  
Article
The City of Muses Project: Creating a Vibrant and Sensual Metropolitan Landscape through Architecture
by Antonella Contin
Arts 2023, 12(5), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12050207 - 22 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1282
Abstract
The Metropolitan Architecture Project aims to create an artistic metropolitan landscape, which captivates visitors. It focuses on the relationship between the form’s image and the surrounding context, emphasising the structural image in architectural design. The project draws inspiration from the City of Muses [...] Read more.
The Metropolitan Architecture Project aims to create an artistic metropolitan landscape, which captivates visitors. It focuses on the relationship between the form’s image and the surrounding context, emphasising the structural image in architectural design. The project draws inspiration from the City of Muses Project, incorporating a symbolic mediator as a propeller, which represents the connection with the contemporary society’s cultural symbols and bridges the gap between the past, present and future. The methods employed in the Metropolitan Architecture Project involve integrating artistic elements into the metropolitan landscape. This includes incorporating the symbolic mediator and designing the structural image to interact harmoniously with the surrounding environment. The project has successfully introduced a new type of built form characterised by a relational figure and a vibrant and sensual image. By embracing this approach, the architectural design actively engages with the environment and enhances the overall architectural experience. The Metropolitan Architecture Project demonstrates the significance of incorporating an artistic dimension in creating a metropolitan landscape. The project achieves a captivating and interactive architectural design by considering the dynamic relationship between the form, context and structure. This understanding of architecture contributes to a deeper comprehension of the society which constructs it, resulting in a rich and engaging architectural experience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aesthetics in Contemporary Cities)
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70 pages, 27237 KiB  
Article
Jade for Bones in Hongshan Craftsmanship: Human Anatomy as the Genesis of a Prehistoric Style
by Sandrine Larrivé-Bass
Arts 2023, 12(5), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12050206 - 21 Sep 2023
Viewed by 2146
Abstract
Jade artifacts produced in prehistoric China continue to generate extensive scholarly interest. In the absence of textual data, inferring how works functioned in Jade Age communities remains challenging. This paper focuses on Hongshan 红山 culture (4500–3000 BCE) jades, a distinctively styled corpus primarily [...] Read more.
Jade artifacts produced in prehistoric China continue to generate extensive scholarly interest. In the absence of textual data, inferring how works functioned in Jade Age communities remains challenging. This paper focuses on Hongshan 红山 culture (4500–3000 BCE) jades, a distinctively styled corpus primarily recovered from late fourth millennium BCE graves in northeastern China. Recent finds within and beyond the Hongshan core zone have enriched the jade inventory and expanded the known scope of its stylistic variations. The analysis sheds light on enigmatic types, reveals the complex representational nature of this corpus, and clarifies the mimetic intentions that resulted in the soft rounded forms characteristic of the style. Most objects examined were unearthed at Hongshan ceremonial centers and have sound excavation pedigrees. Their study relies on contextual archaeological data and comparative visual analysis and draws on the broader Hongshan material world. Further considerations include environment, funerary practices, materiality, cognition, and human anatomy. Ultimately, the paper uncovers new paradigms of figural representation that should open fresh investigative avenues for specialists of early China. Preliminary evaluation of jades unearthed further south at Lingjiatan 凌家滩 and Liangzhu 良渚 sites suggests that some late Neolithic societies adopted Hongshan practices. Current evidence hints at members of prehistoric communities attempting, through jade works, to rationalize their physical circumstances and assert their social power by symbolically fusing with elements of their environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ancient Chinese Art: Jades and Bronze)
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40 pages, 23838 KiB  
Article
Andalusi Defensive Architecture through Martín de Ximena Jurado’s Drawings (Mid-17th Century)
by Luis José García-Pulido
Arts 2023, 12(5), 205; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12050205 - 20 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1597
Abstract
The antiquarian Martín de Ximena Jurado was a pioneer in the historical cartography of the old Kingdom of Jaén (Andalusia, Spain), where he tried to represent emblematic areas with their military defences with his particular graphic language. Not surprisingly, this territory has a [...] Read more.
The antiquarian Martín de Ximena Jurado was a pioneer in the historical cartography of the old Kingdom of Jaén (Andalusia, Spain), where he tried to represent emblematic areas with their military defences with his particular graphic language. Not surprisingly, this territory has a high concentration of medieval fortifications. The data and drawings that he made of castles, towers, and defensive enclosures show a special interest in the militarisation of sites and places. He went beyond a simple toponymic study aimed only at finding a correspondence between the ancient name and the location of a settlement based on the evidence provided by coins and inscriptions. The medieval fortifications that he mapped were not drawn in ruins as one would expect they would be in the mid-17th century, but with their most characteristic construction elements. This fact gives it great relevance, as it represents the idealised hypothesis of the state of these constructions at the time of the Castilian conquest in the decades following the Almohad debacle in the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa (1212). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Andalusi Architecture: Shapes, Meaning and Influences (Vol. 2))
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19 pages, 8484 KiB  
Article
Clean-Up Workers (Deluxe Series): The Embodiment of Waste Values and Aesthetics
by Gayle Matthias
Arts 2023, 12(5), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12050204 - 19 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1444
Abstract
Written from the perspective of practice-led research, this reflective case study rationalises and charts the production of ‘Clean-Up Workers (Deluxe Series)’—mixed media sculptures that embody notions of waste aesthetic, value and abjection. Integrating discourses surrounding waste theory and using the sink and plug [...] Read more.
Written from the perspective of practice-led research, this reflective case study rationalises and charts the production of ‘Clean-Up Workers (Deluxe Series)’—mixed media sculptures that embody notions of waste aesthetic, value and abjection. Integrating discourses surrounding waste theory and using the sink and plug as a metaphor to discuss Lacan’s theory of the objet petit a, the paper is presented as an autobiographical waste narrative. Production of a series of anatomical vacuum cleaners made from re-appropriated artwork found waste materials in the form of ‘pre-owned objects or materials’ and ‘by-products’ of a creative practice’, sit alongside crafted luxurious glass objects and speak of corporeal ageing, dysfunction and the domestic realm. Discarded objects take the form of car parts found in the non-places of the gutter. Through assemblage, these unique items’ ‘use-time’ is recontextualised and elevated as art objects viewed within a gallery arena. Full article
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16 pages, 15552 KiB  
Article
Dravidian Futurities: A Creative Process
by Meena Murugesan
Arts 2023, 12(5), 203; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12050203 - 18 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1535
Abstract
In this article, author and artist Meena Murugesan analyzes their creative process and research in the making of Dravidian Futurities, a multi-channel video installation with live performance. Methodologies of auto-ethnography, visual aesthetics, embodied movement practices, Tamil historiographies, queer futurities, caste analysis, and [...] Read more.
In this article, author and artist Meena Murugesan analyzes their creative process and research in the making of Dravidian Futurities, a multi-channel video installation with live performance. Methodologies of auto-ethnography, visual aesthetics, embodied movement practices, Tamil historiographies, queer futurities, caste analysis, and poetics are applied to treat the issues at hand. Dravidian Futurities draws connections between communities of South Indian and Sri Lankan Shudra and Dalit caste backgrounds, Dravidian, and Afro-Indian peoples, depending on the historical era examined. As someone of the Shudra caste, the author draws connections between agriculture, land, and earth, as being rooted in Shudra identities, and in opposition to brahminical systems. Therefore, the movement forms of somatics, improvisation, and nature-based embodiment practices are investigated as possible embodied inroads to grapple with caste within brahminized bharatanatyam. Notions of futurity and place-making are unearthed from the depths of the Indian Ocean with a hypothetical sunken landmass called Lemuria or Kumari Kandam that might have once connected South India, Sri Lanka, and Madagascar. Dravidian Futurities also dreams into existence this speculative landmass as a possible utopia we might co-build, similar to that which Dalit mystic saint Guru Ravidas imagined five hundred years ago with Begumpura (“land without sorrow”) as a casteless, stateless utopia. Full article
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36 pages, 16306 KiB  
Article
The Alcázar of Córdoba: The Seat of Islamic Power in Al-Andalus
by Alberto León-Muñoz
Arts 2023, 12(5), 202; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12050202 - 18 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1260
Abstract
In this paper, we show a synthesis of the recovered information in the most recent archaeological interventions of the occupied space by the architectural complex where the Omayyad seat of power and the following leaders of Córdoba were installed. As the most relevant [...] Read more.
In this paper, we show a synthesis of the recovered information in the most recent archaeological interventions of the occupied space by the architectural complex where the Omayyad seat of power and the following leaders of Córdoba were installed. As the most relevant aspects, we show the persistent continuity of the reoccupation and appropriation of the precedent buildings, the tight correlation with the Aljama Mosque, and the architectonic entity of the documented structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Andalusi Architecture: Shapes, Meaning and Influences (Vol. 2))
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15 pages, 11607 KiB  
Article
Riders in the Tomb: Women Equestrians in North Chinese Funerary Art (10th–14th Centuries)
by Eiren L. Shea
Arts 2023, 12(5), 201; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12050201 - 15 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1390
Abstract
For many women living in parts of present-day north China and Mongolia during the 10th to 14th centuries, equestrian activities were a part of daily life. Women of all social levels were expected to know how to ride from an early age. However, [...] Read more.
For many women living in parts of present-day north China and Mongolia during the 10th to 14th centuries, equestrian activities were a part of daily life. Women of all social levels were expected to know how to ride from an early age. However, documentary evidence for women’s participation in equestrian activities during this period is sparse. This paper brings together materials that highlight the important role horse riding played in the lives of northern women during the 10th to 14th centuries from the funerary context. This study connects funerary objects with women’s participation in polo, hunting, warfare, and the Mongol postal system, among other activities. The synthesis of material evidence from tombs with period texts will illuminate the important role of equestrian activities in women’s lives and afterlives during this period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materializing Death and the Afterlife in Afro-Eurasian Art)
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19 pages, 3542 KiB  
Article
Sign and Symbol in Picasso
by Pepe Karmel
Arts 2023, 12(5), 200; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12050200 - 14 Sep 2023
Viewed by 2075
Abstract
Writers on the semiology of Cubism have often cited Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler’s 1946–48 descriptions of Cubism as a form of writing. They seem, however, to have overlooked Pablo Picasso’s 1945–48 statements about art as a sign language. The first section of this essay argues [...] Read more.
Writers on the semiology of Cubism have often cited Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler’s 1946–48 descriptions of Cubism as a form of writing. They seem, however, to have overlooked Pablo Picasso’s 1945–48 statements about art as a sign language. The first section of this essay argues that Kahnweiler was in fact inspired by Picasso’s statements. The second section retraces the origins of semiology in nineteenth-century philology, its revival by Claude Levi-Strauss, his influence on critical theory, the rise of a semiological interpretation of Cubism, and the problems with this interpretation. The third section links Picasso’s 1945–48 statements about art as a sign language to his contemporary visual work; specifically, to his illustrations for Pierre Reverdy’s book of poems Le Chant des morts. The idea of art as a sign language is traced to Picasso’s 1924 drawings of “star charts” or “constellations”. However, Picasso’s 1945–48 designs using a similar vocabulary are analyzed as signifiers without signifieds—that is, as symbols, rather than signs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Picasso Studies (50th Anniversary Edition))
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13 pages, 440 KiB  
Editorial
Reassessing the Gap: Transformations of the High/Low Difference
by Daniel Stein and Niels Werber
Arts 2023, 12(5), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12050199 - 13 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1387
Abstract
Popular culture is a relational term that denotes the other side of the high culture coin (Hügel 2003, p [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives on Pop Culture)
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14 pages, 31722 KiB  
Article
Knowledge Repatriation: A Pilot Project about Making Cedar Root Baskets
by Sharon M. Fortney
Arts 2023, 12(5), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12050198 - 12 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1831
Abstract
This paper describes the first phase of a Coast Salish Knowledge Repatriation Project being coordinated by the Curator of Indigenous Collections and Engagement at the Museum of Vancouver, within the unceded, ancestral territories of the xʷməθkʷəýəm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) nations. [...] Read more.
This paper describes the first phase of a Coast Salish Knowledge Repatriation Project being coordinated by the Curator of Indigenous Collections and Engagement at the Museum of Vancouver, within the unceded, ancestral territories of the xʷməθkʷəýəm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) nations. The goal of this knowledge repatriation work is to support cultural revitalization and language renewal through activities that generate learning opportunities for community members. These activities pivot around knowledge that has been lost due to urbanization, forced assimilation efforts, and other colonial activities that may have restricted access to traditional lands and resources, preventing knowledge transmission. This work is about shifting the focus from extractive projects, that benefit external audiences, to one that supports capacity building and cultural renewal within communities. This essay describes a project to reintroduce coiled cedar root basketry into communities within the Greater Vancouver area in the province of British Columbia, Canada. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arts of the Northwest Coast)
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13 pages, 338 KiB  
Article
The Categorization of the Operetta Dance Genre in the Táncművészet Magazine between 1952 and 1956
by Emese Lengyel
Arts 2023, 12(5), 197; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12050197 - 11 Sep 2023
Viewed by 805
Abstract
The aim of the Hungarian state socialist regime to renew the operetta art manifested in the transformation of operetta-playing via the setting of its main cultural objectives. Once private theatre organizations were disbanded in 1949, newly written and composed operetta pieces had to [...] Read more.
The aim of the Hungarian state socialist regime to renew the operetta art manifested in the transformation of operetta-playing via the setting of its main cultural objectives. Once private theatre organizations were disbanded in 1949, newly written and composed operetta pieces had to be adjusted to meet the expectations cultivated by those responsible for the drawing up of the contemporary cultural policies, not only in terms of theme, subject, and dramaturgy but also, as productions designed for stage performance. At that time, questions regarding the realm of operetta dance and choreography arose as significant professional issues. The remarkable case of operetta dance was brought to the notice of the larger professional community by an article written by choreographer Ágnes Roboz, which was published in 1952 in the Táncművészet magazine (1951). Due to its professional nature, this magazine served as a suitable platform for the discussion of the operetta dance genre. The present study reflects upon its publications from the period between 1952 and 1956. Throughout these years, 16 articles discussing the categorization of operettas were published. I aimed to analyze these primary sources according to their genre before presenting, juxtaposing, and contextualizing them. Thus, my objective is to gain a thorough understanding and comprehensive overview of professional discussions and arguments over 1950s operetta dances and choreographies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The History of Hungarian Ballet)
16 pages, 6480 KiB  
Article
The Death of Painting and Its Afterlife in Morimura Yasumasa’s Portrait (Futago)
by Kimiko Matsumura
Arts 2023, 12(5), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12050196 - 11 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1691
Abstract
This essay performs a close reading of Morimura’s Portrait (Futago) to establish how the artist’s multi-media approach echoes 1980s declarations about the end of painting while also proposing alternatives for its historical and material afterlife. In many ways, the artist’s performances make the [...] Read more.
This essay performs a close reading of Morimura’s Portrait (Futago) to establish how the artist’s multi-media approach echoes 1980s declarations about the end of painting while also proposing alternatives for its historical and material afterlife. In many ways, the artist’s performances make the crises brought on by the emerging global economy visual, and as such pointed to a number of slow deaths: of painting, of capitalism, of Japanese tradition. But the images do not merely document the demise. Instead, they present a scenario in which multiplicities define contemporary being. By considering how the work engages with photography, performance, and painting, I argue that Morimura’s approach to modality pointed out inherently Western assumptions about painting as well as its incompatibility with a holistic global identity in the 1980s and 90s. Exploiting the stereotypes of his media, Morimura makes tangible painting’s complicity with Western hegemony and destabilizes it in ways that propose a new global subject. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materializing Death and the Afterlife in Afro-Eurasian Art)
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21 pages, 14078 KiB  
Article
Art and the City Fiction in Japanese American Internment Camps: Sequels for Resiliency
by Inmaculada Rodriguez-Cunill, Joseph Cabeza-Lainez and Maria del Mar Lopez-Cabrales
Arts 2023, 12(5), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12050195 - 11 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1638
Abstract
This article delves into the creation a fictional city solely for the development of Japanese American internment camps and the way in which sustainable arts and crafts played a significant role in ensuring survival in such a hostile environment. To this aim, we [...] Read more.
This article delves into the creation a fictional city solely for the development of Japanese American internment camps and the way in which sustainable arts and crafts played a significant role in ensuring survival in such a hostile environment. To this aim, we searched the literature and reviewed archives, primarily from the American West Coast. We demonstrate that beyond adaptation to the circumstances, the visual representation of the new city’s settlement, founding, and daily activities, instead of adding to the typical panoptic or sombre prison imagery, remains inscribed in the images selected by the inmates, and that the use of such images precisely fostered the inmates’ resiliency. This leads us to deduce that such ’city fiction’ was necessary in this case for survival and endurance, and that its artistic representation was primarily incorporated into the State’s ideological apparatus. On the other hand, occasional fissures subtly seethed with the violence exerted in the camps. In this way, we conclude that the artistic activity itself justified the city fiction, among other situations, revealing the conditions of systemic violence and oppression faced by the internees. Within this framework, we deem that the artworks hereby generated constitute a paramount historical document for resiliency’s sake. The arguments contained herein are still relevant, because everywhere around the world, situations of exclusion and confinement of displaced immigrants, or simply those considered misfits, are repeated time and time again. Nor have we alleviated the issue in any way today, since we disregard the lessons learned from the past. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arts: Art and Urban Studies)
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16 pages, 8320 KiB  
Essay
In Search of Context, In Search of Home
by Sujata Goel
Arts 2023, 12(5), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12050194 - 07 Sep 2023
Viewed by 970
Abstract
In this text, the author outlines her personal narrative as a dancer and choreographer over twenty years. She traces her path of migration between the USA, India and Europe in search of artistic context and belonging. Her account addresses larger issues such as [...] Read more.
In this text, the author outlines her personal narrative as a dancer and choreographer over twenty years. She traces her path of migration between the USA, India and Europe in search of artistic context and belonging. Her account addresses larger issues such as Orientalism and Eurocentrism in the global, contemporary dance sphere. Full article
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14 pages, 2177 KiB  
Article
Cloudscapes over the Baltic Sea–Cloud Motifs in Finnish, Swedish, German, Russian, Polish, Lithuanian, and Latvian Symbolic Landscape Painting around 1900
by Emiliana Konopka
Arts 2023, 12(5), 193; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12050193 - 07 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1602
Abstract
The cloud motif, a significant one in the landscape painting of the 1890s and early 1900s, has been usually marginalized by scholars despite the fact that during this (Symbolist) period clouds became independent subjects of landscape painting in many European countries, especially in [...] Read more.
The cloud motif, a significant one in the landscape painting of the 1890s and early 1900s, has been usually marginalized by scholars despite the fact that during this (Symbolist) period clouds became independent subjects of landscape painting in many European countries, especially in the Baltic Sea Region. Cloud imagery makes a robust appearance in Scandinavian, Russian, Polish, Lithuanian, and Latvian art during the decades around 1900. The variety of symbolic meanings and possible interpretations of cloudscapes was impacted by cultural and literary associations that emerged with European Symbolism. There is a surprising resemblance of cloudscapes executed within the Baltic Sea Region, an examination of which reveals the complexity of artistic influence and the presence and wandering of motifs among artists. Full article
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19 pages, 455 KiB  
Article
Non-Fungible Tokens and Select Art Law Considerations
by Zeynep Ekinci
Arts 2023, 12(5), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12050192 - 06 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1930
Abstract
Since 2021, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have been a popular topic which has kindled the interest of art and technology enthusiasts and professionals. Some had very high expectations for the potential of NFTs, and in some cases, made an assessment for NFTs that go [...] Read more.
Since 2021, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have been a popular topic which has kindled the interest of art and technology enthusiasts and professionals. Some had very high expectations for the potential of NFTs, and in some cases, made an assessment for NFTs that go beyond the existing limits of NFTs. There have also been others who approached NFTs suspiciously and in some cases, described them as a hoax. The purpose of this study is to examine the important effects of NFTs on the art world and art law, and to consider NFTs’ current and potential impacts. In this context, this article first provides an introduction to NFTs and why the author finds it interesting to think about legal issues surrounding NFTs. After providing definitions of non-fungible tokens and highlighting technical aspects of NFTs, the article then discusses select legal issues surrounding NFTs, such as the importance of legal terms and conditions of an NFT purchase, legal qualifications of NFTs, artwork ownership, artwork authenticity, artwork provenance and intermediary liability for NFT sales. One of the aims of this study is to put forward clearly what should be expected of non-fungible tokens and their potential. Another objective is to underline the fact that the unique dynamics of the art world necessitate having a unique perspective for legal matters relating to them, which is satisfied with art law and its professionals. Ultimately, this paper aims to contribute to having a more comprehensive understanding of non-fungible tokens and their impact on the art world and surrounding legal questions. Full article
13 pages, 6000 KiB  
Article
“Blast Off!”: The Afterlives of Nostalgia in Su Yu Hsin’s Blast Furnace No. 2
by Ellen Larson
Arts 2023, 12(5), 191; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12050191 - 06 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1390
Abstract
In her 2022 video installation, Blast Furnace No. 2, artist Su Yu Hsin explores the history of the German factory, Henrichshütte Ironworks. Namely, the artist focuses on Henrichshütte’s former blast furnace, which was bought by a Chinese steel mill in September 1989 [...] Read more.
In her 2022 video installation, Blast Furnace No. 2, artist Su Yu Hsin explores the history of the German factory, Henrichshütte Ironworks. Namely, the artist focuses on Henrichshütte’s former blast furnace, which was bought by a Chinese steel mill in September 1989 and moved to China, where it operated until 2015. Now a state-owned museum, this former factory, located in Hattingen, Germany, is a snapshot of the past—a memorial of sorts for the region’s bygone industrial prosperity. The history and intercontinental movement of this blast furnace inspires Su’s affinities towards spaces located in-between shifting temporalities, identities, and changing environmental conditions within Hattingen and beyond. Su weaves archival materials, documentary film, and interview excerpts into a speculative narrative that connects the years 1989, 2022, and 2050. Blurring reality and imagination, the video follows the fictionalized trail of Lin, a Chinese translator who accompanied the dismantling of the blast furnace over thirty years ago. According to the narrative, Lin left behind an unfinished science fiction novel, which takes place in 2022. In Lin’s novel, the protagonist develops a utopian machine in the form of a blast furnace. With this apparatus, she sends herself into space with the goal of finding an alternative energy source to replace coal. Blast Furnace No. 2 constellates temporal spaces of socio-political and environmental nostalgia, predicated upon both remembered and imagined understandings of the past, present, and future. The work emphasizes contradictory gaps in between socially driven ideological systems and their afterlives, determined to memorialize what most would just as soon forget. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materializing Death and the Afterlife in Afro-Eurasian Art)
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13 pages, 8901 KiB  
Article
“Pro-Raphaelites”: The Classical Ideal in Religious Art and the Agency of Artworks in Estonia from 1810 to 1840
by Liisa-Helena Lumberg-Paramonova
Arts 2023, 12(5), 190; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12050190 - 06 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1449
Abstract
This article analyzes Baltic German religious art based on examples from Estonia in the first half of the nineteenth century, focusing on artistic networks and the reclamation of a Renaissance classical ideal. Baltic German artists such as Friedrich Ludwig von Maydell, Gustav Adolf [...] Read more.
This article analyzes Baltic German religious art based on examples from Estonia in the first half of the nineteenth century, focusing on artistic networks and the reclamation of a Renaissance classical ideal. Baltic German artists such as Friedrich Ludwig von Maydell, Gustav Adolf Hippius, and Otto Friedrich Ignatius were in contact with the Nazarenes, whose ideals were inspired by Raphael’s attempt to merge art and religion. The Nazarenes influence can be seen in Baltic German religious art, which favored idealized forms and followed on from the works of the Renaissance masters. In addition to presenting religious scenes, in the Baltic context, these artworks acted as mediators of European artistic heritage. The classical ideal was thus perpetuated by a tightly connected network in which Baltic German artists joined others in re-establishing the power of the European canon of art history. Full article
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